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history of Randolph) County, 

West Virginia. 

From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present, 

Embracing Records of all the Leading Families, Reminiscences 
and Traditions, Early Life and Hardships, Internal Improve- 
ments, Roads, Mills, Forts, Courts, Officers, Soldiers, 
Churches, Schools, Towns, Railroads, Forests, Coal, 
and other Natural Resources, Giving Special 
Attention to the County's Modern 
History and Improvements. 

The Civil War as it Affected the County and People, from the 
Official Records Both Federal and Confederate, Including 
Personal Sketches and Adventure. Also Randolph's 
Part in the French and Indian War, the Revo- 
lution, the War of 1812, the Mexican 
and the Spanish War. 




The Acme Publishing! Company, 

Morgantown, VV. Va. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS members and Sloan Foundation 



Randolph County was formed from Harrison in 1787 and included all 
of the present county of Tucker, all of Barbour east of the river, all of Up- 
shur east of Buckhannon River, and a considerable portion of Pocahontas 
and Webster. It lost territory in 1821 when Pocahontas was formed; again 
in 1843 when Barbour came into existence, and in 1851 it gave up some of 
its territory to Upshur, atid five years later 350 square miles were cut off to 
form Tucker; and in 1860 Webster took a strip; and after all of these losses 
Randolph still is the largest county in the State. The white man's home on 
the waters of the Monongahela, within West Virginia, was first planted in 
Randolph. In this county occurred the first Indian massacre in the State. 
From that beginning, the county has been an historical center down to the 
present. Great events have occured here, and men of wide fame have gone 
forth from the valleys and mountains of the grand old county, and have 
made their influence felt from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The writer of 
this book has attempted to collect, to arrange and preserve traditions, rem- 
iniscences, annals, biographies and all kindred elements of history, and save 
them before too late. The task has not been easy nor the burden light. How 
well he has succeeded must be judged by others. The field was new; no 
one had entered it before, and the research through the century or more of 
neglected and almost forgotten fragments of history was not a holiday ex- 

At the conclusion of the French and Indian War, when the tide of im- 
migration came over the mountains into the Ohio Valley, it came in three 
great streams, one by way of Cumberland into the lower Monongahela Val- 
ley; another, by way of the Greenbrier, into the Kanawha Valley; while the 
third — which, for some reason, historians have almost totally ignored— 
pushed along old Indian trails across the Alleghanies into Randolph County, 
into the Cheat Valley and into the Buckhannon country. This third avenue 
of immigration is given, in this book, the prominence which it deserves. 
It was of no less importance in working out the destiny of the West than 


were the great lines of travel to Pittsburg and down the Kanawha. The 
ancestors of men of international fame came through the wilderness into 
Tygart's Valley with no guide but obscure Indian trails. 

The plan of this book embraces three divisions. The first is a carefully 
prepared, though condensed, history of West Virginia, as a whole; the sec- 
ond is a strictly county history; and part third is biography. The reason 
why the State history was included is that comparatively few persons pos- 
a history of West Virginia; particularly is this true in the rural districts. 

The three departments, united in one volume, supply not only the his- 
tory of the State, but also the local history of the county, and the family 
records of thousands of persons who have taken part in the county's affairs. 

It is a duty and a pleasure to acknowledge in this place the valuable 
assistance rendered by others in the work of preparing this book. The 
people of Randolph in general were willing to assist, and help was obtained 
from many sources not here enumerated, but special mention should be 
made of the following persons who supplied information on subjects with 
which they had special acquaintance: Hon. Thomas J. Arnold, of San Diego, 
Cal. ; Hon. Benjamin Wilson, of Clarksburg; Hon. H. G. Davis, G-. W. Printz, 
Hon. B. W. Smith, of Lafayette, Ind. ; Thomas B. Scott, Col. Henry Hay- 
mond, of Clarksburg; Col. Elihu Hutton, Adam C. Rowan, Prof. John G. 
Knutti, of Fairmont; Warwick Hutton, Jacob W. Marshall, Major Joseph 
P. Harding, Miss Helen M. Womelsdorff, Alfred Hutton, Archibald Wilmoth, 
S. N. Bosworth, Daniel R. Baker, Jacob Wees, L. D. Strader, William H. 
Wilson, Lee Crouch, Dr. George W. Yokum, Mrs. Nancy Wilmoth, Eli H. 
Crouch, G. C. Lytle, Dr. A. S. Bosworth, Capt. Sampson Snyder, Alexander 
Logan, Prof. James H. Logan, Col. Melvin Currence, Claude Phillips, H. B. 
Marshall, John M. Wood, Hon. A. W. Corley, of Sutton; E. D. Talbott, 
Ezra P. Hart, Hon. Randolph Stalnaker, of Wheeling; Hon. Harmon Sny- 
der, Kent B. Crawford, Omar Conrad, Patrick Crickard, Jesse W. Goddin 
•and Floyd J. Triplett. 




Explorations West of the Blue Ridge. 
Capt. Batte's Expedition .. Governor Spotswood Reaches the Base of 
the Alleganies . . The South Branch Valley Explored . . Washington's Sur- 
veying Tour.. The Greenbrier River .. Christopher Gist's Journey... Pro- 
posed German Colony . . Settlement Forbidden West of the Alleghanies . . 
Soldiers Attempt to Drive Colonists Out . . Settlements on the Ohio and 
Monongahela . . Population of West Virginia . . Land Titles . . 19-24. 


Indians and Moundbuilders. 
West Virginia's Territory Uninhabited . . The Mohawk Invasion . , Mound- 
builders and Indians Probably Identical . . Their Origin Unknown . . America 
Had Pre-Historic Inhabitants . . Estimated Number of Indians East of the 
Mississippi . . 25-28. 

The French and Indian War. 
The Scheme of France . . Contest for the Ohio Valley . . The French 
Build Forts . . England Interferes . . Washington's Journey to the West . . The 
French Use Force . . English Troops Skirmish with Jumonville . :Battle at 
Fort Necessity . . Washington Surrenders . . Braddeck's Campaign . . His De- 
feat and Death . . Indians Attack the Settlements . . Expedition Under Forbes 
. . Fort Duquesne Falls . . France Loses the Ohio Valley . . 29-38. 

The Dunrnore War. 
Causes Leading to Hostilities . . Forerunner of the Revolution . . En- 
gland's Scheme to Intimidate . . The Quebec Act . . Lord Dunrnore . . His Greed 
for Land . . Indians Take Up the Hatchet . . Two Virginia Armies Invade the 
Indian Country. .Battle of Point Pleasant. .Treaty at Camp Charlotte. .Al- 
leged Speech of Logan . . The Indians Make Peace . . 39-46. 



West Virginia in the Revolution 
Meeting at Fort Gower. .Resolutions Passed .. Meetings at Pittsburg 
and Hannastown . .Soldiers from the Monongahela . . Attempted Tory Up- 
risings Suppressed . .Patriotism on the Greenbrier .. Four Indian Armies 
Invade West Virginia. .Numerous Incursions .. Cornstalk Assassinated.. 
First Siege of Fort Henry . . Capt. Foreman Ambushed . . Simon Girty Joins 
the Indians . .Fort Randolph Besieged . . General Clark Marches to the West 
. . Last Battle of the Revolution . . Expeditions Against the Indians . . Gen- 
eral Wayne Conquers the Savages... 47 — 56. 

Subdivision and Boundaries. 
Virginia's Western Territory . . Jealousy of other States . . The Contro- 
versy . . Virginia Cedes to the General Government Her Territory West of 
the Ohio . . Mason and Dixon's Line . . Other Boundary Lines . . Contest with 
Maryland . . Virginia's Original Eight Counties . . Table of Population . . 57-65. 

The Newspapers of West Virginia. 
Humble Beginnings . . The First Newspaper . . Others Enter the Field . . 
Ephemeral Character of Country Journalism . . The Editor's Mistakes and 
Successes . . 66-70. 

Geography, Geology and Climate. 
The Rock-History of West Virginia . . Mountain-Building . . Valley-Sculp- 
ture .. The Plateau of West Virginia .. Influences Acting on Climate.. How 
Coal was Formed . . The Rain Winds and the Rainless Winds . . Rainfall and 
Snowfall . . Formation of Soil . . Fertility and Sterility . . Fertilizing Agents . . 
Altitudes in West Virginia. .71-82. 

Among Old Laws. 
Examination of and Extracts from Virginia's Early Statutes .. Death 
Penalty for Petty Crimes. .Cruel Punishmeuts. .Condemned Prisoners For- 
bidden Spiritual Advice. .Law against Gossiping .. Hog Stealing .. Special 
Laws for Slaves . . Horse Thieves ' 'utterly excluded " . . Pillories . . Whipping 
Posts, Stocks and Ducking Stools . . Fees of Sheriffs and Constables . . Tavern- 
Keepers . . Ferries . . 83 — 88. 

Constitutional History. 
The Bill of Rights. .Constitution of 1776. .Freedom of the Press.. 
Schools not Mentioned.. Restricted Suffrage. .Constitution of 1830.. Mem- 


bers West of the Mountains Advocate Greater Liberty . . Overruled . . Educa- 
tion Neglected. .Constitution of 1852. .Line Drawn Between the East and 
West . . Property against Men . . West Virginia's First Constitution . . The 
Slavery Question . . Constitution of 1872 . . Enlarged Suffrage . . 89-104. 

John Brown's Raid. 
His Purpose . . The Attempt . . Capture, Condemnation and Execution 
..105.. 108. 

The Ordinance of Secession. 
Causes and Beginning . . The Richmond Convention . . Delegates from 
Western Virginia . . Stormy Sessions . . The Vote . . Western Delegates 
Secretly Leave Richmond . .Virginia Seizes United States Property. .109-112. 

The Reorganized Government of Virginia. 

Mass Meetings West of the Alleghanies . . First Wheeling Convention . . 
Its Members. .Vote on the Ordinance of Secession. .Second Wheeling Con- 
vention . . The Delegates . . New Officers Chosen for Virginia . . 113-119. 

Formation of West Virginia. 
The United States Constitution Provided a Way . . The Several Steps . . 
President Lincoln's Opinion . . The Bill Signed . . 120-125. & 

Organizing for War. 

Call for Volunteers by Virginia . . Troops Sent Across the Alleghanies . 
Muskets Sent to Beverly by the Confederates . . Guns from Massachusetts 
Reach Wheeling . . Federals Cross the Ohio . . Fight at Philippi . . Confede- 
rates Fortify in Randolph . . General Garnett in Command . . General McClel- 
lan Arrives . . Defeat of the Confederates at Rich Mountain . . Garnett's re- 
treat. .126-137. 

Progress of the War. 

General Lee in West Virginia . . Expedition against Cheat Mountain and 
Elkwater. .General Loring's Army. .Movements in the Kanawha Valley. . 
Quarrel Between Generals Wise and Floyd . . Federals Defeated at Cross 
Lanes . . Confederates Worsted at Gauley Bridge . . Further Fighting . . Con- 
test for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. .Governor Letcher's Proclama 
tion.. 138-146. 


Chronology of the War. 
List and Dates of Important Movements in West Virginia . . 147-170. 


Early Settlements and Indian Troubles. 
Traders Reach the Ohio. . . Trails and Roads Over the Alleghanies. . . Sur- 
veys for Canals... The Mountain Wilderness... Piles and Tygart... Mythical 
Indian Towns... Tygart's Valley Settled... Ports Built... Indian Raid in 1777 
...Ambuscade above Elkwater...The Leading Creek Massacre. .. Timothy 
Dorman's Raid... The last Indian Incursion, 1791... 175-187. 

Court Notes of a Century. 
Organization of Randolph . . County Seat Selected . . Officers Appointed 
. . County Laid Off into Districts . . First Town . . Lawyers Licensed . . Public 
Buildings . . Numerous Indictments . . The " Public Square " . . Superior Court 
Proceedings . . Twelve Court Houses . . War Reminiscences in Court Records 
. . List of Military Offices . . The Beginnings of Roads . . Marriage Licenses in 
Thirty years . . Wild Animals of Randolph . . Early Randolph Law Latin . . 
Slaves in Randolph . . Early Prices and Money Matters . . The Annals of the 
Poor . . List of Sheriffs . . Clerks . . Surveyors . . Assessors . . Justices . . Pros- 
ecuting Attorneys . . Coroners . . County Commissioners . . Judges . . Constables 
. . Superintendents of Schools . . Old Wills . . List of Lawyers . . Supervisors . . 
Board of Registration . . 188-235. 

Randolph's Share in the Civil War. 
First Encounter of Opposing Forces . . Rich Mountain . . Laurel Hill . . 
Garnett's Retreat . . Cheat Mountain and Elkwater . . Imboden's Raids . . Jack- 
son's Raid . . Hill's Raid . . Rosser's Raid, 

Mountains and Valleys of Randolph. 
Altitudes, Distances and Directions . . Sculpture of Tygart's Valley . . 
Coal Fields of Randolph. .Old River Terraces .. The Huttonsville Gravel 
Deposits .. Limestone Caves.. Ledge of Flint.. Salt Sulphur Springs... In- 
dian "Lead Mines." 

Miscellaneous Historical Notes. 
The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad. . . Newspapers of Ran- 
dolph... Roster of Soldiers... Old Land Patents... Swiss Colony at Alpina... 
The Last Elk... Pre-historic Mounds... Religious Denominations. .. Notes. 



Frontispiece ; 

Solomon C. Caplinger and Archibald Wilmoth , 316 

Col David Goff 389 

Hon. Washington J. Long 431 

Elam D. Talbott 481 

William G. Wilson 499 


Map of Hampshire County, 1755 61 

Grave of the Connolly familly 187 

Signatures of Early Sheriffs 221 

Signatures of Circuit Clerks '. . . 222 

Signatures of Early Justices of the Peace 224 

Signatures of Circuit Judges 227 

First Court-House built by Randolph County 235 

The Lone Tree 239 

Battlefield of Rich Mountain 240 

Snyder's Knob 267 

The Sculpture of Tygart's Valley 271 

Columnar Section of Rock 274 

Burried Logs near Beverly 276 

Map showing Indian Trail 296 

Lorenzo Dow's Stopping Place 302 

Site of the Files Cabin 307 

Map showing Indian Trails 308 

Site of Westfall's Fort 309 

A Primitive Cabin 310 

Cowger's Mill 310 

Elder Thomas Collett's Church 313 

Washington's Map 315 

The Old Wilson Plantation 491 


Arnold, T J, San Diego Cal. 

Ansteregg, Jacob, Newlon W. Va. 

Armentrout, Solomon, Elkins, 

Armentrout, C S, Hortcn 

Allen, J M, Elkins 

Alt, Mrs. Rebecca M, Dry Fork 

Backstrom, P G F, Elkins 

Baker, S L, Beverly 

Baker, WE " 

Baker, D R 

Bally, C, Pickens 

Bazier, Rev. E R, Beverly 

Ball, D W, Rich Mountain 

Bent, J A, Elkins 

Bell, JNC, Lee Bell 

Beatty, George, Mingo 

Bennett, E J, Dry Fork 

Bennett, A J, Harman 

Blizzard, SC, 

Blackman, S R, Parsons 

Blackmail, Mrs. W T. Hastings, Neb. 

Bosworth, Dr. A S, Beverly, W. Va. 

Bosworth, S N, 

Bosworth, Dr. J L, Huttonsville 

Bowers, J O, Harman 

Bowers, WO, 

Bodkin, Mrs Nellie E, Harman 

Bonner, H F, Dry Fork 

Bonner, M J, '■ 

Bonner, EL, 

Brown, T P R, Beverly 

Brown, F W, Huttonsville 

Brown, S I, Harding 

Bradley, A M, Elkins 

Brandley, A, " 

Butcher, B L, Fairmont W. Va. 
Buckey, Dr. D P, Beverly ' ' 

Buckey, Mrs. Lizzie, " " 

Byron, L C, Valley Head 

Caplinger, Miss Rizpah, Mingo " 

Caplinger, Miss Hattie B, Beverly 

Caplinger, J C, Beverly W. Va. 

Canfield, H C, 

Campbell, L H, Elkins 

Campbell, E B, " " 

Carr, G A, Dry Fork " 

Carr, Joseph, " " 

Carr, JG " 

Channell, J H, Huttonsville " 

Channell, I W, Elkins 

Channell, G N, Kerens " 

Chaffey, Richard, Elkins 

Clark, GO, Hemlock 

Clayton, Mrs Lily M, Job " 

Coberly, James, Elkins " 

Coberly, J A, Elkins " 

Coberly, D E. Montrose " 

Coberly, J G, Montrose " 

Coberly, J G, Alpina " 

Collier, W H, Elkins 

Collett, L D, Elkins 

Collett, Parkison, Beverly " 

Collett, ET, Kerens 

Collett, Mrs. Louisa, Beverly " 

Conrad, W P, Huttonsville 

Conrad, Samuel, Valley Head " 

Conrad, Lloyd, " 

Conrad, CC 

Conrad, WH, " " 

Conrad, H J, " " 



Conrad, Omar, Beverly W. Va. 

Coff, C M, Mingo 
Corley, A W, Sutton 

Cooper, Daniel, Beverly " 

Cooper, Valentine, Harm an " 

Cooper, E J, Harman ' ' 

Collins, Sampson, Dry Fork " 

Crawford, Emmet, Beverly, " 

Crawford, K B, Beverly " 
Crickard, C C, Crickard 

Crickard, Patrick, Crickard " 
Crickard, J R, Valley Head 

Crittenden, Dr. TB, Horton " 

Crouch, Lee, Beverly " 

Crouch, Abraham, Elkwater " 
Crouch, Eli H, Elkwater 

Cunningham, George, Elkins " 

Cunningham, Dr. J L, Pickens " 

Cunningham, A M, Parsons " 

Cunningham, E A, Beverly " 

Cunningham, J A, Alpina " 

Cunningham, H V, Rich Mt. " 

Cunningham, J S, Harman " 

Cunningham, Mrs M E, Harman ' ' 

Cunningham, Mrs C B, Job ' ' 

Cunningham, D S, Job " 

Cunningham, G W, Elkins ' ' 

Cunningham, B Y, Horton " 

Cunningham, Geo W, Elkins, " 

Curtis, Joseph, Crickard ' ' 

Curtis, Lester, Elkins " 

Curtis, G M, Horton " 

Currence, Melvin, Crickard. " 

Currence, M H, Elkins, " 

Daniels, M L, Beverly, " 

Daniels, H W, Elkins " 
Daniels, Rev. W P, Lick 

Daniels, P C, Beverly " 

Day, Mrs. Sarah A, Faulkner, " 
Day, S L, Elkins, 

Dann, fm. H, Elkins, " 

Denton, Julia B, Kerens, " 
DeWitt, J H, Elkins, 

DeArmit, Austin, Montrose W. 
Digman, W. J, Montrose 
Dorcas, L B, Horton 
Durkin, Miss Aliyce, Monroe 
Earle, D A, Elkins 
Elkins, Hon. S B, Elkins 
Elza, J S, Rich Mountain 

Fahrion, Lew, Pickins 
Ferguson, Moses, Montrose 
Ferguson, C B, Montrose 
Ferguson, John J, Kerens 
Fisher, S H, Kerens 
Fisher, Charles, Pickens 
Fincham, D C, Long 
Findley, A L, Monroe 
Findley, J H, Monroe 
Fitzwater, Clay, Beverly 
Fint, J H, Rich Mountain 
Fleegel, C L, Horton 
Fox, J M, Valley Bend, 
Ford, P F, Mabie 
Fretwell, George, Blue Springs 
Fueller, H C, Horton 

Gainer, S W, Montrose 
Gainer, M L, Montrose 
Garnett, Rev. J A, Elkins 
Gawthrop, J J W, Huttonsville 
Gawthrop, J E, Huttonsville 
Gibson, J N, Elkins 
Gibson, J A, Job 
Glannon, Patrick, Laurel 
Goddin, J W, Elkins 
Goff, Mrs. Annie A, Beverly 
Golden, Benjamin, Horton 
Golden, Dr. W W, Elkins 
Griffith, W F, Elkins 
Greynolds, Lew, Beverly 
Greynolds, Delbert, Beverly 
Graham, J W, Harman 
Grose, M F, Beverly 

Harding, C W, Beverly 
Harper, S W, Faulkner 




Harper, J P, Circleville Kansas. 

Harper, R M, Lick W. Va. 

Harper J C, Harm an " 

Harper, J D, Harman " 

Harper, D A, Elkins " 
Harper, GW, Elkins 
Harper, A E, Elkins 

Hart, Mrs. M L, Beverly " 
Haymond, Col. Henry, Clarksburg. 

Hart, A P, Mabie W. Va. 

Hart Hugh S, Havensville, Kansas. 

Hart, A W, Beverly W. Va. 
Hart, G M, Kerens 

Hamilton, A Z, Elkwater " 
Hamilton, Bolivar, Valley Head ' ' 

Hartman, J W, Pickens " 

Harris, Harman, Harman " 
Harris, R B, Beverly 

Hanley, James, Elkins " 
Harman, Rev. Asa, Harman " 

Harman, Joseph, " " 

Harman, J Wm., " " 

Harman, Silon, " " 

Harman, D M, Job " 

Heavener, J W, Montrose " 

Hinchman, J E, Beverly " 

High, Loren, Beverly, " 
Howell, J E, Mabie 

Houdyschell, A H, Beverly ' ' 
Hutton, Elihu, Huttonsville " 
Hutton, Warwick, 

Huber, Prank, Helvetia " 
Hull, J C, Pickens 

Huffman, Prank, Dry Pork " 

Hyre, L J, Montrose ' ' 

Irvine, D G, Elkins " 
Isner, Mrs . Sarah C, Beverly ' ' 

Jett, "W P, Montrose ' ' 

Joyce, Miss Ella C, Laurel ' ' 

Johnson, J M, Beverly " 

Johnson John, Dry Fork " 

Jones, A. R, Elkins " 

Jordan, Baxter, Job W. Va. 

Jordan, G M, Horton ' ' 

Jordan, A P, Horton " 

Judy, I H, Harman " 

Kennedy, C W, Elkins " 
Kelley, W S, Elkins 
Kelley, Harrison, Roaring Creek " 

Kesner, H F, Harman " 

Keim, W H, Elkins " 

King, J, Beverly " 

King, Andrew, Monroe " 

Kittle, Leland, Beverly " 

Kildow, J Ed, Beverly " 

Kisamore, J H, Horton " 

Kile, A A, Job " 
Kile, E H, Dr,Job 

Knutti, Emil, Alpina " 

Knutti, J G, Fairmont " 

Knutti, Jacob, Beverly " 
Kunst, C W F, Grafton 

Lamb, Calvin, Middle Fork " 

Latham, G R, Beverly " 

Lambert, Mrs. P J, Harmon ' ' 

Lambert, C E, Horton ' ' 

Lawson, F A, Elkins " 

Lawson, H T, Montrose " 

Lee, Richard, Huttonsville " 

Leonard, G W, Beverly " 

Leonard, F L, Beverly " 

Lewis, H H, Newlon " 

Lewis, A, Beverly " 

Leary, Hamilton, Beverly " 
Loyd, G W, Valley Bend 

Lough, J V, Elkins ' ' 

Lough, G M, Elkins ' ' 

Long, G C, Valley Bend " 

Long, A J, Valley Bend ' ' 

Long, S B, Dry Fork " 
Lytle, GC, Elkins 

Marstiller, C M, Elkins " 

Marstiller, Lee, Elkins " 

Marstiller, J D, Womelsdorff " 



Mayo, C B, Pickens W. Va. 

Mayo, W D, Pickens " 

Marshall, J W, Mingo " 

Marshall, H B, Mingo 
Mallow, G A, Harman " 

Maxwell, L H, Fresno Cal. 

Maxwell, C J, Kaufman Texas 

Maxwell, C W, Parsons W. Va 

Moore, J H, Montrose 
Loore, C S, Elkins 
Moore, W A, Huttonsville 
Moore, B W, Mingo 
Moore, Miss Ella, Elkins 
Moore, Eli, Montrose 
Moyers, Charles, Valley Head 
Morral, J W, Harman 
Mouse, S A, Elkins 
Montoney, Mrs Nettie A, Job 
Montoney, Dr. Decatur, Harman 
Mullennix, J W, Horton 
Mustoe, C L, Kerens* 
McLaughlin, L B, Beverly 
McGraw, John T, Grafton 
McAtee, W L, Blue Springs 
McAtee, J M, Mingo 
McQuain, L W, Beverly 
McQuain, Lewis, Elkins 
McCallister, J W, Rich Mt 
McBee, J A, Rich Mt 
McDaniel, A C Kerens 

Nelson, John, Harman 
Nelson, S K, Horton 

O'Donnell, Manus, Beverly 

Payne, Mrs Dora, Elkins 
Payne, H H, Horton 
Parsons, Joshua, Montrose 
Parsons, M L, Montrose 
Pennington, V B, Harman 
Pennington, S J. " 
Pennington, H C, " 
Phares, J W, Elkins 
Phares, WB, " 

Phares, Leonard, Orlena W." 
Phares, Jacob, " 

Phares, Abel, Laurel 
Phares, Mrs. Helen, Elkins 
Phillips, WS, 

Phillips, E E W, Crickard 
Phillips, Randolph, Womelsdorff 
Phillips, Claude, 
Phillips, G M, Beverly 
Phillips, J J, Orlena 
Phillips, W S, Gilman 
Posten, Wilbur, Huttonsville 
Powers, HHW, Elkins 
Potts, J O, Beverly 
Potts, Rev. M P H, Elkins 
Porter, W C, Harman 
Pritt, Hugh, Valley Bend 
Pritt, R L, " 

Pritt, Riley, Beverly 
Pritt, C S. 
Putnam, V B, " 
Purkey, D B, Kerens 
Purkey, W H, " 
Rader, Rev. B T, Elkins 
Ranis, G W, Harman 
Reger, S L, Elkins 
Riggleman, M F, Mingo 
Rinehart Rev. H G, Montana 
Rowan, S A, Beverly 
Rowan, H F, Mabie 
Rohrbaugh, M H, Beverly 
Rolston, Rev. Holmes, Horton 
Roy, I P, Harman 
Roy, A G, Dry Fork 
Roy, M L, " 
Russell, T C, Crickard 
Rush, Frederick, Adolph 

Salisbury, G W, Mont&rville 
Scott. C H, Elkins 
Scott, J J, Crickard 
Scott, G B, Womelsdorff 
Scott, Edwin, Monroe 




Scott, Jefferson, " W. Va. 

Scott, P W, Beverly 

Scott, Mrs. Louise M, Beverly 

Schoonover, C J, Montrose 

Scruggs, W F, Horton 

Sharpless, C C, Kerens 

Shreve, N. H., Valley Bend 

"Shaffer, H. L, Elkins 

Shobe, Mrs. M J, Harm an 

Shront, G W, Beverly 

Sharp, W D, Mingo 

Shockey, Ira, Long 

Simmons, S G, Valley Head 

Simmons, W C, Elkwater 

Simmons, P C, Dry Fork 

Sims, G F, Pickens 

Sites, D A, Harman 

Smith, Charles, Valley Head 

Smith, M M, Elkins 

Smith, Job, Dry Fork 

Smith, W A, Dry Fork 

Smith, M C, Job, 

Smith, Hon. B W, Lafayette Ind. 

Snelson, F H, Elkins W. Va. 

Snyder, Harmon, Valley Head 

Snyder, Howard, Beverly 

Snyder, P A, Harman 

Spies, Henry, Pickens 

Sturm, J A, Womelsdorff 

Sturm, L, Crickard 

Stalnaker, J P, Beverly 

Stalnaker, Randolph, Wheeling 

Stalnaker, H T, Elkins 

Stalnaker, W R, " 

Stalnaker, Miss Belle, Valley Bend. 

Stalnaker, White, Beverly W. Va. 

Stalnaker, R. M., Elkihs 

Stalnaker, T J, 

Stalnaker, T H, 

Stalnaker, D M, Kerens 

Stalnaker, Mrs. Edith M, Elkins 

Steeth, W H, Elkins 

Stanton, G J, Womelsdorff 

Strader, L D, Beverly W. Va. 

Summerfield, T J, Job 

Summerfield, W A, Harman 

Summerfield, Mordecai, Harman 

Summerfield, Vinson " 

Summerfield, J W, " 

Swecker, G C, Monterville 

Talbott, Dr. L W, Elkins 

Talbott, E D, Beverly 

Talbott, N W. Valley Head 

Talbott, R H, Elkins 

Taylor, L M, Kerens 

Taylor, Blain W, Washington, D.C. 

Taylor, E E, Elkins W. Va. 

Taylor, Wm, Elkins 

Taylor, Lee, Elkins 

Taylor, Miss Annie L, Elkins 

Taylor, Mrs. Nannie E, Kerens 

Taylor, C M, Valley Head 

Thomas, J W, Pembro 

Thomas, Philip, Beverly 

Tolley, J F, Blue Springs 

Triplett, W O, Kerens 

Triplett, J W, Faulkner 

Triplett, F A, Kerens 

Triplett, Elijah, Elkins 

Triplett, F J, Elkins 

Vanscoy, E B, Kerens 
Vanscoy, D A, Kerens 
Vanpelt, L D, Elkwater 
Valentine, A J, Parsons 
Vandevender, Wm, Monterville 
Vandevender, Sylvanus, Harman 
Vandevender, W P, Harman 
Vest, Joshua, Beverly 

Wamsley, J N, Elkins 
Wamsley, Z T, Crickard 
Wamsley, Mrs Minerva, Lee Bell 
Wamsley, S B, Lee Bell 
Wamsley, F J, Lee Bell 
Wamsley, E D, Elkwater 
Wamsley, Miss B, Valley Bend 



Wamsley, J L, Beverly W. Va 

Wamsley, C C, Beverly " 

Ward, Lee M, Huttonsville ' ' 

Ward, S P, Crickard 

Ward, Iddo, Elkins 

Ward, J A, Delta Idaho 

Ward, H A, Mingo W. Va. 

Ward, Ray, Elkins 

Ware, Jonas, Valley Head " 

Waybright, Mrs. Arthena, Job " 

Wees, Levi, Montrose " 

Wees, Emmet, Valley Bend " 

Wees, Z D, Elkins " 

Wees, A C, Beverly ' ' 

Weese, H H, Elkins " 

Weese, Boyd, " 

Webley, Enoch, " 

Webley, PC, " 

Westfall, Job, Beverly " 

Weymouth, Dr. J H, Elkins 

White, Bernard, Beverly " 

White, French, Dry Fork " 

White, D L, Job 

White, Amby, Rich Mountain " 

White, J L, Dry Fork " 

White, R C, Rich Mountain 

White, JW, Job 

White, Calip, Harman " 

White, G W, Horton 

White, Felix, Job " 

White, Mrs. Sarah E, Job " 

White, J T, Harman W. Va. 

White, A J, Harman 
Whitecotton, G C, Dry Fork 
Whitecotton, A D, Harman " 
Wilson, Hon. Benj., Clarksburg 
Wilson, William Grant, Elkins 
Wilson, W H, Beverly 
Wilson, D F, Horton 
Wilmoth, A F, Elkins 
Wilmoth, B F, " 
Wilmoth, Oliver, " 
Wilmoth, Elihu, Montrose 
Wimer, C H, Elkins 
Wise, J E, Huttonsville 
Williams, J H, Beverly 
Williams, A D, Beverly 
Wolfong, J A, Harman 
Woolwine, Lewis, Elkins 
Woodford D C, Alpina 
Woodford, M S, Huttonsville 
Wolfe, Mrs S J, Pickens 
Womelsdorff, O C, Womelsdorff 
Wood, A J, Valley Head 
Wood, C N, Mingo 
Workman, A J, Laurel 

Yokum, Dr H, Beverly 
Yokum, Bruce, Beverly 
Yokum, Adam, Harman 
Yeager, D. M., Womelsdorff 

Zinn, A W, Huttonsville 
Zehnder, John, Pickens 


State history 




It is impossible to say when and where the first white man set foot on 
the soil of what is now West Virginia. In all probability no record was 
ever made of the first visit. It is well known that adventurers always push 
into new countries in advance of organized exploring parties ; and it is likely 
that such was the case with West Virginia when it was only an unnamed 
wilderness. Probably the Indians who waged war with the early colonists 
of Virginia carried prisoners into this region on their hunting excursions. 
Sixty-five years were required for the colonists of Virginia to become super- 
ficially acquainted with the country as far west as the Blue Ridge, which, 
until June, 1670, was the extreme limit of explorations in that direction. 
The distance from Jamestown, the first colony, to the base of the Blue 
Ridge, was two hundred miles. Nearly three-quarters of a century was 
required to push the outposts of civilization two hundred miles, and that, 
too, across a country favorable for exploration, and with little danger from 
Indians during most of the time. In later years the outposts of civilization 
moved westward at an average yearly rate of seventeen miles. The people 
of Virginia were not satisfied to allow the Blue Ridge to remain the bound- 
ary between the known and unknown countries; and in 1670, sixty-three 
years after the first settlement in the State, the Governor of Virginia sent 
out an exploring party under Captain Henry Batte, with instructions to 
cross the mountains of the west, seek for silver and gold, and try to dis- 
cover a river flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Early in June of that year, 
1670, the explorers forced the heights of the Blue Ridge which they found 
steep and rocky, and descended into the valley west of that range. They 
discovered a river flowing due north. The observations and measurements 
made by these explorers perhaps satisfied the royal Governor who sent 
them out; but their accuracy may be questioned. They reported that the 
river which they had discovered was four hundred and fifty yards wide; its 
banks in most places one thousand yards high. Beyond the river they said 
they could see towering mountains destitute of trees, and crowned by white 
cliffs, hidden much of the time in mist, but occasionally clearing sufficiently 
to give a glimpse of their ruggedness. They expressed the opinion that 
those unexplored mountains might contain silver and gold. They made no 
attempt to cross the river, but set out on their return. Prom their account 
x>f the broad river and its banks thousands of feet high, one might suppose 
that they had discovered the Canyon of the Colorado; but it was only New 
River, the principle tributary of the Kanawha. The next year, 1671, the 
Governor of Virginia sent explorers to continue the work, and they 
remained a considerable time in the valley of New River. If they penetra- 
ted as far as - the present territory of West Virginia, which is uncertain, 


they probably crossed the line into what is now Monroe or Mercer Counties. 

Forty-five years later, 1716* Governor Spotswood, of- Virginia, led an 
exploring party over the Blue Ridge, across the Shenandoah River and to 
the base of the Alleghany Mountains. Daring hunters and adventurers no 
doubt were by that time acquainted with the geography of the eastern part 
of the State. Be that as it may, the actual settlement of the counties of 
Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire and Hardy was now at hand. The 
gap in the Blue Ridge at Harper's Perry, made by the Potomac breaking 
through that range, was soon discovered, and through that rocky gateway 
the early settlers found a path into the Valley of Virginia, whence some of 
them ascended the Shenandoah to Winchester and above, and others con- 
tinued up the Potomac, occupying Jefferson County and in succession the 
counties above; and before many years there were settlements on the South 
Branch of the Potomac. It is known that the South Branch was explored 
within less than nine years after Governor Spotswood's expedition, and 
within less than thirteen years there were settlers in that county. 

Lord Fairfax claimed the territory in what is now the Eastern Panhandle 
of West Virginia. But his boundary lines had never been run. The grant 
called for a line drawn from the head of the Potomac to the head of the 
Rappahannock. Several years passed before it could be ascertained where 
the fountains of those streams were. An exploring party under William 
Mayo traced the Potomac to its source in the year 1736, and on December 
14 of that year ascertained and marked the spot where the rainfall divides," 
part flowing into the Potomac and part into Cheat River on the west. This 
spot was selected as the corner of Lord Fairfax's land; and on October 17, 
1746, a stone was planted there to mark the spot and has ever since been 
called the Fairfax Stone. It stands at the corner of two states, Maryland 
and West Virginia, and of four counties, Garrett, Preston, Tucker and 
Grant. It is about half a mile north of the station of Fairfax, on the West 
Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad, at an elevation of three thousand 
two hundred and sixteen feet above sea level. 

George Washington spent the summers of three years surveying the 
estate of Lord Fairfax, partly in West Virginia. He began work in 1748, 
when he was sixteen, and persecuted it with ability and industry. There 
were other surveyors employed in the work as well as he. By means of 
this occupation he became acquainted with the fertility and resources of the- 
new country, and he afterwards became a large land-holder in West Vir- 
ginia, one of his holdings lying as far west as the Kanawha. His knowledge 
of the country no doubt had something to do with the organization of the 
Ohio Company in 1749, which was granted 500,000 acres between the Monon- 
gahela and the Kanawha. Lawrence Washington , a half brother of George 
Washington, was a member of the Ohio Company. The granting of land 
in this western country no doubt had its weight in hastening the French 
and Indian War of 1755, by which England acquired possession of the Ohio 
Valley. The war would have come sooner or later, and England would have 
secured the Ohio Valley in the end, and it would have passed ultimately to 
the United States; but the events were hastened by Lord Fairfax's sending 
the youthful Washington to survey his lands near the Potomac. While en- 
gaged in this work, Washington frequently met small parties of friendly 
Indians. The presence of these natives was not a rare thing in the South 
Branch country. Trees are still pointed out as the corners or lines of sur- 
veys made by Washington.. 


About this time the lands on the Greenbrier River were attracting 
attention. A large grant was made to the Greenbrier Company; and in 
1749 and 1750 John Lewis surveyed this region, and settlements grew up in 
a short time. The land was no better than the more easily accessible land 
east of the Alleghany Mountains; but the spirit of adventure which has 
always been characteristic of the American people, led the daring pioneers 
into the wilderness west of the mountains, and from that time the outposts 
of settlements moved down the Greenbrier and the Kanawha, and in twenty- 
two years had reached the Ohio River. The frontiersmen of Greenbrier 
were always foremost in repelling Indian attacks and in carrying the war 
into the enemy's country. 

The eastern counties grew in population. Prior to the outbreak of the - 
French and Indian War in 1755, there were settlements all along the 
Potomac River, not only in Jefferson, Berkeley and Hampshire, but also in 
Hardy, Grant and Pendleton Counties. It is, of course, understood that 
those counties, as now named, were not in existence at that time. 

The Alleghany Mountains served as a barrier for awhile to keep back 
the tide of emigration from the part of the State lying west of that range; 
but when peace was restored after the French and Indian War the western 
valleys soon had their settlements. Explorations had made the country 
fairly well known prior to that time as far west as the Ohio. Immense 
tracts of land had been granted in that wilderness, and surveyors had been 
. sent to mark the lines. About the time of the survey of the Greenbrier 
country, the Ohio Company sent Christopher Gist to explore its lands 
already granted and to examine West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky for 
choice locations in view of obtaining future grants. Mr. Gist, a noted char- 
acter of his time, and a companion of Washington a few years later, per- 
formed his task well, and returned with a report satisfactory to his em- 
ployers. He visited Ohio and Kentucky, and on his return passed up the 
Kanawha and New Rivers in 1751, and climbed to the summit of the ledge of 
rocks now known as Hawk's Nest, or Marshall's Pillar, overhanging the 
New River, and from its summit had a view of the mountains and inhospit- 
able country. 

In speaking of the exploration and settlement of West Virginia, it is 
worthy of note that the Ohio River was explored by the French in 1719; but 
they attempted no settlement within the borders of this State. 

Had Virginia allowed religious freedom, a large colony would have been 
planted on the Ohio Company's lands, between the Monongahela and the 
Kanawha, about 1750, and this would probably have changed the early his- 
tory of that part of West Virginia. A colony in that territory would have 
had its influence in the subsequent wars with the Indians. And when we 
consider how little was lacking to form a new state, or province, west of 
the Alleghanies about 1772, to be called Vandalia, it can be understood what 
the result might have been had the Ohio Company succeeded in its scheme 
of colonization. Its plan was to plant a colony of two hundred German 
families on its land. The settlers were to come from eastern Pennsylvania. 
All arrangements between the company and the Germans were satisfactory, 
but when the hardy Germans learned that they would be in the province of 
Virginia, and that they must become members of the English Church or 
suffer persecution in the form of extra taxes laid on dissenters by the Epis- 
copacy of Virginia, they would not go, and the Ohio Company's colonization 
scheme failed. 


Another effort to colonize the lands west of the Alleghanies, and from 
which much might have come, also failed. This attempt was made by Vir- 
ginia. In 1752 the House of Burgesses offered Protestant settlers west of 
the Alleghanies, in Augusta county, ten years' exemption from taxes; and 
the offer was subsequently increased to fifteen years' exemption. The war 
with the French and Indians put a stop to all colonization projects. Vir- 
ginia had enough to do taking care of her settlements along the western bor- 
der without increasing the task by advancing the frontier seventy-five miles 
westward. The first settlement, if the occupation by three white men may 
be called a settlement, on the Monongahela was made about 1752. Thomas 
Eckerly and two brothers, from eastern Pennsylvania, took up their home 
there to escape military duty, they being opposed to war. They wished to 
live in peace remote from civilized man, but two of them fell victims to the 
Indians while the third was absent. Prior to 1753 two families had built 
houses on the headwaters of the Monongahela, in what is now Randolph 
County. The Indians murdered or drove them out in 1753. The next set- 
tlement was by a small colony near Morgantown under the leadership of 
Thomas Decker. This was in 1758, while the French and Indian War was 
at its height. The colony was exterminated by Indians. 

In 1763, October 7, a proclamation was issued by the King of England 
forbidding settlers from taking up land or occupying it west of the Alle- 
ghanies until the country had been bought from the Indians. It is not 
known what caused this sudden desire for justice on the part of the king, 
since nearly half the land west of the Alleghanies, in this State, had already 
been granted to companies or individuals; and, since the Indians did not 
occupy the land and there was no tribe within reach of it with any right to 
claim it, either by occupation, conquest or discovery. Governor Fauquier, 
of Virginia, issued three proclamations warning settlers west of the moun- 
tains to withdraw from the lands. No attention was paid to the proclama- 
tions. The Governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania were ordered, 1765, to 
remove the settlers by force. In 1766 and the next year soldiers from Fort 
Pitt, now Pittsburg, were sent into West Virginia to dispossess the settlers. 
It is not probable that the soldiers were over-zealous in carrying out the 
commands, for the injustice and nonsense of such orders must have been 
apparent to the dullest soldier in the West. Such settlers as were driven 
away returned, and affairs went on as usual. Finally Pennsyvania bought 
the Indian lands within its borders; but Virginia, after that date, never paid 
the Indians for any lands in West' Virginia. The foregoing order was the 
first one forbidding settlements in West Virginia north of the Kanawha and 
west of the Alleghanies. Another order was issued ten years later. Both 
were barren of results. The second will be spoken of more at length in 
the account of the incorporation of part of Ohio in the Province of Quebec. 

Settlements along the Ohio, above and below Wheeling, were not made 
until six or seven years after the close of the French and Indian War. 
About 1769 and 1770 the Wetzels and Zanes took up land in that vicinity, 
and others followed. Within a few years Wheeling and the territory above 
and below, formed the most prosperous community west of the Alleghanies. 
That part of the State suffered from Indians who came from Ohio, but the 
attacks of the savages could not break up the settlements, and in 1790, five 
years before the close of the Indian war, Ohio Comity had more than five 
thousand inhabitants, and Monongalia had nearly as many. 

During the Revolutionary War parts of the interior of the State were 


occupied by white men. Harrison County, in the vicinity of Clarksburg and 
further west, was a flourishing community four or five years before the 
Revolution. Settlers pushed up the West Pork of the Monongahela, and 
the site of Weston, in Lewis County, was occupied soon after. Long before 
that time frontiersmen had their cabins on the Tygart Valley River as far 
south as the site of Beverly, in Randolph County. The first settlement in 
Wood County, near Parkersburg, was made 1773, and the next year the site 
of St. George, in Tucker County, was occupied by a stockade and a few 
houses. Monroe County, in the southeastern part of the state, was reclaimed 
from the wilderness fifteen years before the Revolution, and Tyler county's 
first settlement dates back to the year 1776. Pocahontas was occupied at a 
date as early as any county west of the Alleghanies, there being white set- 
tlers in 1749, but not many. Settlements along the Kanawha were pushed 
westward and reached the Ohio River before 1776. 

The population of West Virginia at the close of the Revolution is not 
known. Perhaps an estimate of thirty-five thousand would not be far out 
of the way. In 1790 the population of the territory now forming West Vir- 
ginia was 55,873; in 1800 it was 78,592, a gain of nearly forty per cent, in 
ten years. In 1810 the population was 105,469, a gain of thirty-five per 
cent, in the decade. The population in 1820 was 136,768, a gain of nearly 
twenty-three per cent. In 1830 there were 176,924, a gain in ten years of 
over twenty-two per cent. In 1840 the population was 224, 537, a gain of 
more than twenty-one per cent. The population in 1850 was 302,313, a gain 
in the decade of more than twenty-five per cent. In 1860 the population 
was 376,388, a gain of more than twenty-two per cent. In 1870 the popula- 
tion was 442,014, a gain in ten years of nearly fifteen per cent. In 1880 the 
population of the State was 618,457, a gain of twenty-six per cent. In 1890 
the population of the State was 762,794, a gain of more than twenty-three 
per cent, in ten years. 

Land was abundant and cheap in the early days of West Virginia set- 
tlements, and the State was generous in granting land to settlers and to 
companies. There was none of the formality required, which has since been 
insisted upon. Pioneers usually located on such vacant lands as suited 
them, and they attended to securing a title afterwards. What is usually 
called the "tomahawk right" was no right in law at all; but the persons 
who had such supposed rights were usually given deeds for what they 
claimed. This process consisted in deadening a few trees near a spring or 
brook, and cutting the claimant's name in the bark of trees. This done, he 
claimed the adjacent land, and his right was usually respected by the fron- 
tier people, but there was very naturally a limit to his pretensions. He 
must not claim too much; and it was considered in his favor if he made some 
improvements, such as planting corn, within a reasonable time. The law 
of Virginia gave such settler a title to 400 acres, and a pre-emption to 1,000 
more adjoining, if he built a log cabin on the claim and raised a crop of 
corn. Commissioners were appointed from time to time, some as early as 
1779, who visited different settlements and gave certificates to those who 
furnished satisfactory proof that they had complied with the law. These 
certificates were sent to Richmond, and if no protest or contest was filed in 
six months, the settler was given a deed to the land. It can thus be seen 
that a tomahawk right could easily be merged into a settler's right. He 
could clear a little land, build his hut, and he usually obtained the land. 
The good locations were the first taken, and the poorer land was left until 


somebody wanted it. The surveys were usually made in the crudest man- 
ner, often without accuracy and without ascertaining whether they over- 
lapped some earlier claim or not. The foundation was laid for many future 
law suits, some of which may still be on the court dockets of this State. It 
is said that there are places in West Virginia where land titles are five 
deep. Some of them are old colonial grants, stretching perhaps across two 
or three counties. Others are grants made after Virginia became a mem- 
ber of the United States. Then follow sales made subsequently by parties 
having or claiming a right in the land. The laws of West Virginia are such 
that a settlement of most of these claims is not difficult where the metes 
and bounds are not in dispute. 

After the Revolution Virginia sold its public land usually in the follow- 
ing manner: A man would buy a warrant, for say ten thousand acres, and 
was given a certificate authorizing him to locate the land wherever he could 
find it. He could select part of it here, another part there, or he could sell 
his warrant, or part of it, to some one else, and the purchaser could locate 
the land. Land warrants were often sold half dozen times. There were 
persons who grew wealthy buying warrants for large tracts, from fifty 
thousand to one hundred thousand acres, and selling their warrants to dif- 
ferent parties at an advanced price. Nearly all the land in West Virginia 
west of the Alleghanies, if the title is traced back, will be found to have 
been obtained originally on these land warrants. The most of the land east 
of the Alleghanies was originally granted by the King of England to com- 
panies or individuals. This title is called a "Crown Grant. " There are 
also a few "Crown Grants" west of the Alleghanies, but the most of the 
land west of the mountains belonged to the State of Virginia at the close of 
the Revolution. None of it ever belonged to the United States. 




Indians enter largely into the early history of the State, and few of the 
early settlements were exempt from their visitations. Yet, at the time 
West Virginia first became known to white men, there was not an Indian 
settlement, village or camp of any considerable consequence within its 
borders. There were villages in the vicinity of Pittsburg, and thence north- 
ward to Lake Erie and westward into Ohio; but West Virginia was vacant; 
it belonged to no tribe and was claimed by none with shadow of title. There 
were at times, and perhaps at nearly all times, a wigwam here or there 
within the borders, but it belonged to temporary sojourners, hunters or fish- 
ermen, who expected to remain only a short time. So far as West Virginia 
is concerned, the Indians were not dispossessed of it by the white man, and 
they were never justified in waging war for any wrong done them within 
this State. The white race simply took land which they found vacant, and 
dispossessed nobody. 

There was a time when West Virginia was occupied by Indians, and 
they were driven out or exterminated; but it was not done by the white 
race, but by other tribes of Indians, who, when they had completed the 
work of destruction and desolation, did not choose to settle on the land they 
had made their own by conquest. This war of extermination was waged 
between the years 1656 and 1672, as nearly as the date could be ascertained 
by the early historians, who were mostly missionaries among the tribes 
further north and west. The conquerors were the Mohawks, a fierce and 
powerful tribe whose place of residence was in western New York, but 
whose warlike excursions were carried into Massachusetts, Virginia, Penn- 
sylvania, West Virginia, and even further south. They obtained firearms 
from the Dutch colonies on the Hudson, and having learned how to use 
them, they became a nation of conquerors. The only part of their con- 
quests which comes within the scope of this inquiry was their invasion of 
West Virginia. A tribe of Indians, believed to be the Hurons, at that time 
occupied the country from the forks of the Ohio southward along the 
Monongahela and its tributaries, on the Little Kanawha, on the Great 
Kanawha and to the Kentucky line. During the sixteen years between 
1656 and 1672 the Mohawks overran the country and left it a solitude, ex- 
tending their conquest to the Guyandotte River. There was scarcely a 
Huron left to tell the tale in all this State. Genghis Kahn, the Tartar, did 
not exterminate more completely than did those Mohawks. If there were 
any Huron refugees who escaped they never returned to their old homes to 
take up their residence again. 

There is abundant evidence all over the State that Indians in consider- 
able numbers once made their home here. Graveyards tell of those who 


died in times of peace. Graves are numerous, sometimes singly, sometimes 
in large aggregations, indicating that a village was near by. Flint arrow- 
heads are found everywhere, but are more numerous on river bottoms and 
on level land near springs, where villages and camps would most likely be 
located. The houses of the tribesmen were built of the most flimsy mate- 
rial, and no traces of them are found, except- fireplaces, which may occa- 
sionally be located on account of charcoal and ashes which remain till the 
present day and may be unearthed a foot or more below the surface of the 
ground. Round those fires, if the imagination may take the place of his- 
torical records, sat the wild huntsmen after the chase was over; and while 
they cooked their venison they talked of the past and planned for the future, 
but. how long ago no man knows. 

As to who occupied the country before the Hurons, or how long the 
Hurons held it, history is silent. There is not a legend or tradition coming 
down to us that is worthy of credence. There was an ancient race here 
which built mounds, and the evidence found in the mounds is tolerably con- 
clusive that the people who built them were here long before any Indians 
with which we are acquainted. But the concensus of opinion among schol- 
ars of today is that the Indians and Moundbuilders were the same people. 
All positive evidence points to that conclusion, while all negative evidence 
gives way upon being investigated. If the theory of some writers were sub- 
stantiated, namely, that the Moundbuilders were related to the peoples who 
built the pyramids in Mexico and Central America it would still show the 
Moundbuilders to have been Indians; for, notwithstanding marked differ- 
ences in industry, civilization and languages, the Aztecs and Mayas of 
Mexico were and are Indians as truly as the Turk is a Mongolian. The 
limits of this work will not permit an extended discussion of the puzzling 
question of the origin of the Indians. It is a question which history has 
not answered, and perhaps never will answer. If the answer ever is given 
it will probably be by geology, for history cannot reach so far into the past. 
The favorite conclusion of most authors formerly was that America was 
peopled from Asia by way of Berings Strait. It could have been done. 
But the hypothesis is as reasonable that Asia was - peopled by emigrants 
from America who crossed Berings Strait. It is the same distance across, 
going west or coming east; and there is no historical evidence that America 
was not peopled first; or that both the old world and the new were not peo- 
pled at the same time, or that each was not peopled independently of the 
other. Since the dawn of history, and as far back into prehistoric times as 
the analysis of languages can throw any light, all great migrations have 
been westward. No westward migration would have given America its in- 
habitants from Asia; .but a migration from the west would have peopled 
Asia from America. As a matter of fact, Berings Strait is so narrow that 
the tribes on either side can cross to the other at pleasure, and with less 
difficulty than the Amazon river can be crossed near its mouth. It was long 
the opinion of ethnologists that a comparison of the grammatical construc- 
tion of a large number of the Indian languages would reveal characteristics 
showing that all had a common origin. But the study has been barren of 
results up to the present time. The language of the Indians is a puzzle, 
unless it be accepted as true that there is no common thread through all 
leading to one source. There were eight Indian languages east of the Mis- 
sissippi at the coming of the Europeans. 

The fact is so well established that it admits of no doubt that America 


was occupied by man long before the dawn of history in the old world or 
the new. Stone hatchets and other implements of war or the chase, now 
found buried in the gravel left by ice sheets which covered the Ohio and 
the Upper Mississippi Valleys show that men were there at a time which, 
at the lowest estimate, was thousands of years before the date given in 
chronology for the creation of Adam. America had people who were no 
doubt coeval with the prehistoric savages who fought tigers and hyenas in 
the caves of England and Prance. It is, therefore, an idle waste of time to 
seek in recorded history for clews to the origin of America's first people. 
It would be as profitable to inquire whether the oak tree originated in the 
old world or the new. 

The number of Indians inhabiting a given territory was surprisingly 
small. They could hardly be said to occupy the land. They had settle- 
ments here and there. Of the number of Hurons in the limits of this State 
before the Mohawk invasion, there is no record and no estimate. Probably 
not more than the present number of inhabitants in the State capital, 
Charleston. This will appear reasonable when it is stated that, according 
to the missionary census, in 1640, the total number of Indians in the terri- 
tory east of the Mississippi, north of the Gulf of Mexico and south of the 
St. Lawrence river, was less than one-fourth of the present population of 
the State'of West Virginia. The total number is placed at 180,000. Nearly 
all the Indians who were concerned in the border wars in West Virginia 
lived in Ohio. There were many villages in that State, and it was densely 
populated in comparison with some of the others; yet there were not, per- 
haps, fifteen thousand Indians in Ohio, and they could not put three thous- 
and warriors in the field. The army which General Forbes led against Port 
Duquesne (Pittsburg) in 1758 was probably larger than could have been 
mustered by the Indians of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois combined, and the 
number did not exceed six thousand. The Indians were able to harrass the 
frontier of West Virginia for a quarter of a century by prowling about in 
small bands and striking the defenseless. Had they organized an army 
and fought pitched battle they would have been subdued in a few months. 

While the Indians roamed over the whole country, hunting and fishing, 
they yet had paths which they followed when going on long journeys. 
Those paths were not made with tools, but were simply the result of walk- 
ing upon them for generations. They nearly always followed the best 
grades to be found, and modern road-makers have profited by the skill of 
savages in selecting the most practicable routes. Those paths led long dis 
tances, and in one general direction, unvarying from beginning to end, 
showing that they were not made at haphazzard, but with design. Thus, 
"crossing West Virginia, the Catawba warpath led from New York to Georgia. 
It entered West Virginia from Payette County, Pennsylvania, crossed Cheat 
River at the mouth of Grassy Run, passed in a direction south by south- 
west through the State, and reached the headwaters of the Holsten River 
in Virginia, and thence continued through North Carolina, South Carolina 
and it is said reached Georgia. The path was well defined when the country 
was first settled, but at the present time few traces of it remain. It was 
never an Indian thoroughfare after white men had planted settlements in 
West Virginia, fOr the reason that the Indian tribes of Pennsylvania and 
New York had enough war on hand to keep them busy without making long 
excursions to the south. It is not recorded that any Indian ever came over 
this trail to attack the frontiers of West Virginia. The early settlements 


in Pennsylvania to the north of us cut off incursions from that quarter. A 
second path, called by the early settlers Warrior Branch, was a branch of 
the Catawba path. That is, they formed one path southward from New 
York to southern Pennsylvania, where they separated, and the Warrior 
Branch crossed Cheat River at McParland's, took a southwesterly direction 
through the State and entered southern Ohio and passed into Kentuckj^. 
.Neither was this trail much used in attacking the early settlements in this 
State. It is highly probable that both this and the Catawba path were fol- 
lowed by the Mohawks in their wars against the Hurons in West Virginia, 
but there is no positive proof that such was the case. Indian villages were 
always on or near large trails, and by following these and their branches 
the invaders would be led directly to the homes of the native tribe which 
they were bent on exterminating. 

There were other trails in the State, some of them apparently very old, 
as if they had been used for many generations. There was one, sometimes 
called the Eastern Path, which came from Ohio, crossed the northern part 
of West Virginia, through Preston and Monongalia Counties, and continued 
eastward to the South Branch of the Potomac. This path was made long 
before the Ohio Indians had any occasion to wage war upon white settlers, 
but it was used in their attacks upon the frontiers. Over it the Indians 
traveled who harrassed the settlements on the South Branch; and later, 
those on the Monongahela and Cheat Rivers. The settlers whose homes 
happened to lie near this trail were in constant danger of attack. During 
the Indian wars, after 1776, it was the custom for scouts to watch some of 
the leading trails near the crossing of the Ohio, and when a party of Indians 
were advancing to outrun them and report the danger in time for the set- 
tlers to take refuge in forts. Many massacres were averted in this way. 
There was a trail leading from the Ohio River up the Little Kanawha, to 
and across the Alleghanies, passing through Randolph County. 

The arms and ammunition with which the Indians fought the pioneers 
of this State were obtained from white traders; or, as from 1776 to 1783 or 
later, were often supplied by British agents. The worst depredations which 
West Virginia suffered from the Indians were committed with arms and 
ammunition obtained from the British in Canada. This was during the 
Revolutionary War, when the British made allies of the Indians and urged 
them to harrass the western frontiers, while the British regular army 
fought the Colonial army in the eastern States. 




For the first twenty -five years after settlements were commenced in the 
present territory of West Virginia there was immunity from Indian depre- 
dations There was no occasion for trouble. No tribe occupied the South 
Branch Valley when the first colony was made; and the outposts of the 
white man could have been pushed across the State until the Ohio River 
was reached without taking lands claimed or occupied by Indians, except, 
perhaps, in the case of two or three very small camps; and this most likely 
would have been done without conflict with the Indians, had not Europeans 
stirred up those unfortunate children of the forest and sent them against 
the colonists. This was done by two European nations, first by Prance, 
and afterwards by England. There were five Indian wars waged against 
West Virginia; the War of 1775 and Pontiac's War of 1763, the Dunmore 
War of 177-1 and the Revolutionary War of 1776, and the war which broke 
out about 1790 and ended in 1795. In the war beginning in 1755 the French 
incited and assisted the Indians against the English settlements along the 
whole western border. In the Revolutionary War the British took the 
place of the French as allies of the Indians, and armed the savages and 
sent them against the settlers. 

It is proper that the causes bringing about the French and Indian War 
be briefly recited. No State was more deeply concerned than West Virginia. 
Had the plan which was outlined by the French been successfully executed, 
West Virginia would have been French instead of English, and the settle- 
ments by the Virginians would not have been carried west of the Alleghany 
Mountains. The coast of America, from Maine to Georgia, was colonized 
by English. The French colonized Canada and Louisiana. About the mid- 
. die of the eighteenth century the design, which was probably formed long 
before, of connecting Canada and Louisiana by a chain of forts and settle- 
ments, began to be put into execution by the King of France. The cordon 
was to descend the Alleghany River from Lake Erie to the Ohio, down that 
stream to the Mississippi and thence to New Orleans. The purpose was to 
confine the English to the strip of country between the Alleghanies and the 
Atlantic Ocean, which would include New England, the greater part of New 
York, New Jersey, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, the greater part of 
Maryland, seven eastern counties of West Virginia, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia. The French hoped to hold everything 
west of the Alleghany Mountains. The immediate territory to be secured 
was the Ohio Valley. Missionaries of the Catholic Church were the first 
explorers, not only of the Ohio, but of the Mississippi Valley, almost to the 
head springs of that river. The French took formal possession of both 
banks of the Ohio in the summer of 1749, when an expedition under Cap- 


tain Celeron descended that stream and claimed the country in the name of 

The determination of the Virginians to plant settlements in the Ohio 
Valley was speedily observed by the French, who set to work to counteract 
the movement. They began the erection of a fort on one of the upper trib- 
utaries of the Alleghany River, and no one doubted that they intended to 
move south as rapidly as they could erect their cordon of forts. Governor 
Dinwiddie, of Virginia, decided to send a messenger to the French, who 
already were in the Ohio Valley, to ask for what purpose they were there, 
and to inform them that the territory belonged to England. It was a mere 
diplomatic formality not expected to do any good. This was in the autumn 
of 1753, and George Washington, then twenty-one years of age, was com- 
missioned to bear the dispatch to the French commander on the Alleghany 
River. Washington left Williamsburg, Virginia, November 14, to travel 
nearly six hundred miles through a wilderness in the dead of winter. 
When he reached the settlement on the Monongahela where Christopher 
Gist and twelve families had planted a colony, Mr. Gist accompanied him 
as a guide. The message was delivered to the French commandant, and 
the reply having been written, Washington and Gist set out upon their re- 
turn, on foot. The boast of the French that they would build a fort the 
next summer on the present site of Pittsburg seemed likely to be carried 
out. Washington counted two hundred canoes at the French fort on the 
Alleghany River, and he rightly conjectured that a descent of that stream 
was contemplated. After many dangers and hardships, Washington reached 
Williamsburg and delivered to Governor Dinwiddie the reply of the French 

It was now evident that the French intended to resist by force all at- 
tempts by the English to colonize the Ohio Valley, and were resolved to 
meet force with force. Governor Dinwiddie called the Assembly together, 
and troops were sent into the Ohio Valley. Early in April, 1754, Ensign 
Ward, with a small detachment, reached the forks of the Ohio, where Pitts- 
burg now stands, and commenced the erection of a fort. Here began the 
conflict which raged for several years along the border. The French soon 
appeared in the Alleghany with one thousand men and eighteen cannon 
and gave the English one hour in which to leave. Resistance was out of 
the question, and Ward retreated. The French built a fort which they 
called Duquesne, in honor of the Governor of Canada. 

The English were not disposed to submit tamely. Virginia and Penn- 
sylvania took steps to recover the site at the forks of the Ohio, and to build 
a fort there. Troops were raised and placed in command of Colonel Fry, 
while Washington was made lieutenant colonel. The instructions from 
Governor Dinwiddie were explicit, and directed that all persons, not the 
subjects of Great Britain, who should attempt to take possession of the 
Ohio River or any of its tributaries, be killed, destroyed or seized as pris- 
oners. When the troops under Washington reached the Great Meadows, 
near the present site of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, it was learned that a 
party of about fifty French were prowling in the vicinity, and had an- 
nounced their purpose of attacking the first English they should meet. 
Washington, at the head of fifty men, left the camp and went in search of 
the French, came upon their camp early in the morning, fought them a few 
minutes, killed ten, including the commander, Jumonville, and took twenty- 
two prisoners, with the loss of one killed and two or three wounded. The 


wounded Frenchmen were tomahawked by Indians who accompanied Wash- 
ington. The prisoners were sent to Williamsburg, and, at the same time, 
an urgent appeal for more troops was made. It was correctly surmised 
that as soon as news of the fight reached Fort Duquesne, a large force of 
French would be sent out to attack the English. Re- enforcements were 
raised in Virginia and were advanced as far as Winchester; but, with the 
exception of an independent company from South Carolina, under Captain 
Mackay, no re- enforcements reached the Great Meadows where the whole 
force under Colonel Fry amounted to less than four hundred men. 

The Indians had been friendly with the settlers on the western border 
up to this time; but the French having supplied them bountifully with 
presents, induced them to take-up arms against the English, and hencefor- 
ward the colonists were obliged to fight both the French and the Indians. 
Of the two, the Indians were the more troublesome. They had a deep- 
seated hatred for the English, who had dispossessed the tribes east of the 
Alleghanies of their land, and were now invading the territory west of 
that range. But it is difficult to see wherein they hoped to better their 
condition by assisting the French to gain possession of the country; for the 
French were as greedy for land as were the English. However, the major- 
ity of the natives could not reason far enough to see that point; and with- 
out much investigation they took up arms in aid of the French. 

After the brush with Jumonville's party, it was expected that the 
French in strong force would march from Fort Duquesne to drive back the 
English. Washington built Fort Necessity about fifty miles west of Cum- 
berland, Maryland, and prepared for a fight. News was brought to him 
that large re-enforcements from Canada had reached Fort Duquesne; and 
within a few days he was told that the French were on the road to meet 
him. Expected re-enforcements from Virginia had not arrived, and Wash- 
ington, who had advanced a few miles toward the Ohio, fell back to Fort 
Necessity. There, on the third of July, 1754, was fought a long and obsti- 
nate battle. Many Indians were with the French. Washington offered 
battle in open ground, but the offer was declined, and the English withdrew' 
within the entrenchments. The enemy fought from behind trees, and some 
climbed to the top of trees in order to get aim at those in the trenchesr 
The French were in superior force and better armed than the English. A 
rain dampened the ammunition and rendered many of the guns of the En- 
glish useless. Washington surrendered upon honorable terms, which per- 
mitted his soldiers to retain their arms and baggage, but not the artillery. 
The capitulation occurred July 4, 1754, just twenty-two years before the 
signing of the Declaration of Independence. The French and Indians num- 
bered seven hundred men. Their loss in killed was three or four. The 
loss of the English was thirty. 

When Washington's defeated army retreated from the Ohio Valley, the 
French were in full possession, and no attempt was made that year to re- 
new the war in that quarter; but the purpose on the part of the English of 
driving the French out was not abandoned. It was now understood that 
nothing less than a general war could settle the question, and both sides 
prepared for it. It was with some surprise, in January, 1755, that a prop- 
osition was received from France that the portion of the Ohio Valley be- 
tween that river and the Alleghanies be abandoned by both the French and 
the English. The latter, believing that the opportunity had arrived for 
driving a good bargain, demanded that the French destroy all their forts 


as far as the Wabash, raze Niagara and Crown Point, surrender the Penin- 
sula of Nova Scotia, and a strip of land sixty miles wide along the Bay of 
Fundy and the Atlantic, and leave the intermediate country as far as the 
St. Lawrence a neutral desert. France rejected this proposition, and un- 
derstanding the designs of the English, sent three thousand men to Can- 
ada. General Braddock was already on his way to America with two' regi- 
ments; yet no war had been declared between England and France. The 
former announced that it would act only on the defensive, and the latter 
affirmed its desire for peace. 

When C-eneral Braddock arrived in America he prepared four expedi- 
tions against the French, yet still insisting that he was acting only on the 
defensive. One was against Nova Scotia, one against Niagara, one against 
Crown Point, and the fourth against the Ohio Valley, to be led by Braddock 
in person. This last is the only one that immediately concerns West Vir- 
ginia, and it will be spoken of somewhat at length. 

Much was expected of Braddock's campaign. He promised that he would 
be beyond the Alleghanies by the end of April; and after taking Fort Du- 
quesne, which he calculated would not detain him above three days, he 
would invade Canada by ascending the Alleghany River. He expressed no 
concern from attacks by Indians, and showed contempt for American sold- 
iers who were in his own ranks. He expected his British regulars to win 
the battles. Never had a general gone into the field with so little compre- 
hension of what he was undertaking. He paid for it with his life. He set 
out upon his march from Alexandria, in Virginia, and in twenty-seven days 
reached Cumberland with about two thousand men, some of them Virginians. 
Here Washington joined him as one of his aids. From Cumberland to Fort 
Duquesne the distance was one hundred and thirty miles. The army could 
not march five miles a day. Everything went wrong. Wagons broke down, 
horses and cattle died, Indians harrassed the flanks. On June 19, 1755, the 
army was divided, and a little more than half of it pushed forward in hope 
of capturing Fort Duquense before the arrival of re-enforcements from Can- 
ada. The progress was yet slow, altogether the heaviest baggage had been 
left with the rear division. Not until July 8 was the Monongahela reached. 
This river was forded, and marching on its southern bank, Braddock de- 
cided to strike terror to the hearts of his enemies by a parade. He drew 
his men up in line and spent an hour marching to and fro, believing that 
the French were watching his evex-y movement from the bluff beyond the 
river. He wished to impress them with his power. The distance to Fort 
Duquesne was less than twelve miles. He recrossed the river at noon. 
This was July 9. The troops liushed forward toward the fort, and while 
cutting a road through the woods, were assailed by French and Indians in 
ambush. The attack was as unexpected as it was violent. It is not neces- 
sary to enter fully into details of the battle which was disastrous in the 
extreme. The regular soldiers were panic stricken. They could do nothing 
against a concealed foe which numbered eight hundred and sixty-seven, of . 
which only two hundred and thirty were French. About the only fighting 
on the side of the English was done by the Virginians under Washington. 
They prevented the slaughter of the whole army. Of the three com- 
panies of the Virginians, scarcely thirty remained alive. The battle con- 
tinued two hours. Of the eighty-six officers in the army, twenty-six were 
killed, and thirty-seven were wounded. One-half of the army was killed or 
wounded. Washington had two horses killed under him and four bullets 


passed through his coat; yet he was not wounded. The regulars, when 
they had wasted their ammunition in useless firing, broke and ran like 
sheep, leaving everything to the enemy. The total loss of the English was 
seven hundred and fourteen killed and wounded. Braddock had five horses 
shot under him, and was finally mortally wounded and carried from the 

The battle was over. The English were flying toward Cumberland, 
throwing away whatever impeded their retreat. The dead and wounded 
were abandoned on the field. Braddock was borne along in the rout, con- 
scious that his wound was mortal. He spoke but a few times. Once he 
said: "Who would have thought it!" and again: "We' shall know better 
how to deal with them another time. " He no doubt was thinking of his re- 
fusal to take Washington's advice as to guarding against ambuscades. 
Braddock died, and was buried in the night about a mile west of- Port 
Necessity. Washington read the funeral service at the grave. 

When the fugitives reached the division of the army under Dunbar, 
which had been left behind and was coming up, the greatest confusion pre- 
vailed. General Dunbar destroyed military stores to the value of half a 
million dollars. In his terror he destroyed all he had, and when he recov- 
ered his senses he was obliged to send to Cumberland for provisions to keep 
his men alive until he could reach that place. He did not cease to retreat 
until he reached Philadelphia, where he went into winter quarters. The 
news of the defeat spread rapidly, and the frontier from New York to North 
Carolina prepared for defense, for it was well known that the French, now 
flushed with victory, would arm the Indians and send them against the ex- 
posed settlements. Even before the defeat of Braddock a taste of Indian 
warfare was given many outposts. After the repulse of the army there 
was no protection for the frontiers of Virginia except such as the settlers 
themselves could provide. One of the first settlements to receive a visit 
from the savages was in Hampshire County. Braddock's defeated army had 
scarcely withdrawn before the Indians appeared near the site of Romney 
and fired at some of the men near the fort, and the fire was returned. One 
man was wounded, and the Indians, about ten in number, were driven off. 
Early the next spring a party of fifty Indians, under the leadership of a 
Frenchman, again invaded the settlements on the Potomac, and Captain 
Jeremiah Smith, with twenty men, went in pursuit of them. A fight 
occurred near the source of the Capon, and the Frenchman and five of his 
savages were killed. Smith lost two men. The Indians fled. A few days 
later a second party of Indians made their way into the country, and were 
defeated by Captain Joshua Lewis, with eighteen men. The Indians sep- 
arated into small parties and continued their depredations for some time, 
appearing in the vicinity of the Evans fort, two miles from Martinsburg; 
and later they made an attack on Neally's fort, and in that vicinity commit- 
ted several murders. A Shawnee chief named Killbuck, whose home was 
probably in Ohio, invaded what is now Grant and Hardy Counties in the 
spring of 1756, at the head of sixty or seventy savages. He killed several 
settlers and made his escape. He appeared again two years later in Pen- 
dleton County, where he attacked and captured Fort Seybert, twelve miles 
west of the present town of Franklin, and put to death more than twenty 
persons who had taken refuge in the fort. The place no doubt could have 
made a successful resistance had not the inmates trusted to the promise of 
safety made by the Indians, who thus were admitted into the fort, and at 


once massacred the settlers. In 1758 the Indians again invaded Hampshire 
County and killed a settler near Porks of Capon. This same year eight 
Indians came into the country on the South Branch of the Potomac, near 
the town of Petersburg, and attacked the cabin of a man named-Bingaman. 
They had forced their way into the house at night, and being at too close 
quarters for shooting, Bingaman clubbed his rifle and beat seven of them 
to death. The eighth made his escape. In 1759 the Indians committed 
depredations on the Monongahela River near Morgantown. 

The settlement on the Roanoke River in Virginia, between the Blue 
Ridge and the Alleghany Mountains, was the theatre of much bloodshed in 
1756 by Indians from Ohio who made their way, most probably, up the 
Kanawha and New River, over the Alleghanies. An expedition against 
them was organized in the fall of 1756, under Andrew Lewis, who eighteen 
years later, commanded the Virginians at the battle of Point Pleasant. Not 
much good came of the expedition which marched, with great hardship, 
through that part of West Virginia south of the Kanawha, crossed a corner 
of Kentucky to the Ohio River, where an order came for the troops not to 
cross the Ohio nor invade the country north of that river. They returned 
in dead of winter, and suffered extremely from hunger and cold. This is 
notable from the fact that it was the first military expedition by an English- 
speaking race to reach the Ohio River south of Pittsburg. 

During the three years following Braddock's defeat the frontier was 
exposed to incessant danger. Virginia appointed George Washington com- 
mander-in-chief of all forces raised or to be raised in that State. He trav- 
eled along the frontier of his State, inspecting the forts and trying to bring 
order out of chaos. His picture of the distress of the people and the hor- 
rors of the Indian warfare is summed up in these words, addressed to the 
Governor of Virginia: "The supplicating tears of the women, and the mov- 
ing petitions of the men, melt me with such deadly sorrow that I solemnly 
declare, if I know my own mind, I would offer myself a willing sacrifice to 
the butchering enemy, provided that would contribute to the people's ease." 
He found no adequate means of defense. Indians butchered the people and 
Bed. Pursuit was nearly always in vain. Washington insisted at all times 
that the only radical remedy for Indian depredation was the capture of Fort 
Duquesne. So long as that rallying point remained the Indians would be 
armed and would harrass the frontiers. But, in case the reduction of Fort 
Duquesne could not be undertaken, Washington recommended the erection 
of a chain of twenty-two forts along the frontier, to be garrisoned by two 
thousand soldiers. 

In 1756 and again in 1757 propositions were laid before the Government 
of Virginia, and also before the commander-in-chief of the British forces in 
America, by Washington for the destruction of Fort Duquesne. But in 
neither of these years was his proposition acted upon. However, the British 
were waging a successful war against the French in Canada, and by this 
were indirectly contributing to the conquest of the Ohio Valley. In 1758 
all was in readiness for striking a blow at Fort Duquesne with the earnest 
hope that it would be captured and that rallying point for savages ulti- 
mately destroyed. The settlements in the eastern part of West Virginia 
were nearly broken up. Only two frontier forts west of Winchester held 
out, exclusive of military posts. Both were in Hampshire County, one at 
Romney, the other on Capon. The savages swarmed over the Blue Ridge 
and spread destruction in the Valley of Virginia. 


General Joseph Forbes was given command of the army destined for 
the expedition against Fort Duquesne. This was early in 1758. He had 
twelve hundred Highlanders; two thousand seven hundred Pennsyl- 
vanians; nineteen hundred Virginians, and enough others to bring the total 
to about six thousand men. Washington was leader of the Virginians. 
Without him, G-eneral Forbes never would have seen the Ohio. The old 
General was sick, and his progress was so slow that but for the efforts 
of Washington in pushing forward, the army could not have reached 
Duquesne that year. A new road was constructed from Cumberland, 
intended as a permanent highway to the West. When the main army had 
advanced about half the distance from Cumberland to Fort Duquesne, Major 
Grant with eight hundred Highlanders and Virginians, went forward to 
reconnoitre. Intelligence had been received that the garrison numbered 
only eight hundred, of whom three hundred were Indians. But a re-inforce- 
ment of four hundred men from Illinois had arrived unknown to Major 
Grant, and he was attacked and defeated with heavy loss within a short 
distance of the Fort. Mearly three hundred of his men were killed or 
wounded, and Major Grant was taken prisoner. 

On November 5, 1758, General Forbes arrived at Hannastown and ' 
decided to advance no further that year; but seven days later it was learned 
that the garrison of Fort Duquesne was in no condition for resistance. 
Washington and twenty-five hundred men were sent forward to attack it. 
General Forbes, with six thousand men, had spent fifty days in opening 
fifty miles of road, and fifty miles remained to be opened. Washington's 
men, in five days from the advance from Hannastown, were within seven- 
teen miles of the Ohio. On November 25 the fort was reached. The French 
gave it up without a fight, set fire to it and fled down the Ohio. 

The power of the French in the Ohio Valley was broken. When the 
despairing garrison applied the match which blew up the magazine of Fort 
Duquesne, they razed their last stronghold in the Valley of the West. The 
war was not over; the Indians remained hostile, but the danger that the 
country west of the Alleghanies would fall into the hands of France had 
passed. Civilization, progress and religious liberty were safe. The gate- 
way to the great West was secured to the English race, and from that day 
there was no pause until the western border of the United States was 
washed by the waters of the Pacific. West Virginia's fate hung in the 
balance until Fort Duquesne fell. The way was then cleared for coloniza- 
tion, which speedily followed. Had the territory fallen into the hands of 
France, the character of the inhabitants would have been different, and the 
whole future history of that part of the country would have been changed. 
A fort was at once erected on the site of that destroyed by the French, and 
in honor of William Pitt was named Fort Pitt. The city of Pittsburg has 
grown up around the site. The territory now embraced in West Virginia 
was not at once freed from Indian attacks, but the danger was greatly 
lessened after the rendezvous of Fort Duquesne was broken up. The sub- 
sequent occurrences of the French and Indian War, and Pontiac's War, as 
they affected West Virginia, remain to be given. 

The French and Indian War closed in 1761, but the Pontiac War soon 
followed. The French had lost Canada and the Ohio Valley and the English 
had secured whatever real or imaginary right the French ever had in the 
country. But the Indians rebelled against the English, who had speedily 
taken possession of the territory acquired from France. There is no evi- 


dence that the French gave assistance to the Indians in this war; but much 
proof that more than one effort was made by the French to restrain the 
savages. Nor is the charge that the French supplied the Indians with 
ammunition well founded. The savages bought their ammunition from 
traders, and these traders were French, English and American. In Novem- 
ber, 1760, Rogers, an English officer, sailed over Lake Erie to occupy 
French posts further west. While sailing on the Lake he was waited upon 
by Pontiac, who may be regarded as the ablest Indian encountered by the 
English in America. He was a Delaware captive who had been adopted by 
the Ottawas, and became their chief. He hailed Rogers and informed him 
that the country belonged neither to the French nor English, but to the 
Indians, and told him to go back. This Rogers refused to do, and Pontiac 
set to work forming a confederacy of all the Indians between Canada on the 
north, Tennessee on the south, the Mississippi on the west and the Allegha- 
nies on the east. His object was to expell the English from the country 
west of the Alleghany mountains. 

The superiority of Pontiac as an organizer was seen, not so much in his 
success in forming a confederacy as in keeping ^t secret. He struck in a 
moment, and the blow fell almost simultaneously from Illinois to the 
frontier of Virginia. In almost every case the forts were taken by surprise. 
Detroit, Fort Pitt and Fort Ligonier were almost the only survivors of the 
fearful onset of the savages. Detroit had warning from an Indian girl who 
betrayed the plans of the savages; and when Pontiac, with hundreds of his 
warriors, appeared in person and attempted to take the Fort by surprise, he 
found the English ready for him. He besieged the post nearly a year. The 
siege began May 9, 1763, and the rapidity with which blows were struck 
over a wide expanse of country shows how thorough were his arrangements, 
and how well the secret had been kept. Fort Sandusky, near Lake Erie, 
was surprised and captured May 16, seven days after Detroit was besieged. 
Nine days later the Fort at the mouth of St. Joseph's was taken; two days 
later Fort Miami, on the Maumee river, fell, also taken by surprise. On 
June 1 Fort Ouatamon in Indiana, was surprised and captured. Machili- 
mackinac, far north in Michigan, fell also. This was on June 2. Venango 
in Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie, was captured, and not one of the garrison 
escajDed to tell the tale. Fort Le Boeuf , in the same part of the country, 
fell June 18. On June 22 Presque Isle, now Erie, Pennsylvania, shared the 
fate of the rest. On June 21 Fort Ligonier was attacked and the siege was 
prosecuted with vigor, but the place held out. It was situated on the road 
between Fort Pitt and Cumberland. On June 22 the savages appeared 
before the walls of Fort Pitt, but were unable to take the place by surprise, 
although it was in poor condition for defense. The fortifications had never 
been finished, and a flood had opened three sides. The commandant raised 
a rampart of logs round the Fort and prepared to fight till the last. The 
garrison numbered three hundred and thirty men. More than two hundred 
women and children from the frontiers had taken refuge there. 

Despairing of taking the Fort by force, the savages tried treachery, and 
asked for a parley. When it was granted, the chief told the commandant of 
the Fort that resistance was useless; that all the forts in the North and 
West had been taken, and that a large Indian array was on its march to 
Fort Pitt, which must fall. But, said the chief, if the English would aban- 
don the Fort and retire east of the Alleghanies, they would be permitted to 
depart in peace, provided they would set out at once. The reply given by 


the commandant was, that he intended to stay where he was, and that he 
had provisions and ammunition sufficient to enable him to hold out 
against all the savages in the woods for three years, and that English 
armies were at that moment on their march to exterminate the Indians. 
This answer apparently discouraged the savages, and they did not push the 
siege vigorously. But in July the attack was renewed with great fury. 
The savages made numerous efforts to set the Port on fire by discharging 
burning arrows against it; but they did not succeed. They made holes in 
the river bank and from that hiding place kept up an incessant fire, but the 
Port was too strong for them. On the last day of July, 1763, the Indians 
raised the siege and disappeared. It was soon learned what had caused 
them to depart so suddenly. General Bouquet was at that time marching 
to the relief of Port Pitt, with five hundred men and a large train of sup- 
plies. The Indians had gone to meet him and give battle. As Bouquet 
marched west from Cumberland he found the settlements broken up, the 
houses burned, the grain unharvested, and desolation on every hand, show- 
ing how relentless the savages had been in their determination to break up 
the settlements west of the Alleghanies. 

On August 2, 1763, General Bouquet arrived at Port Ligonier, which 
had been besieged, but the Indians had. departed. He left part of his stores 
there, and hastened forward toward Port Pitt. On August 5 the Indians 
who had been besieging Port Pitt attacked the troops at Bushy Run. A 
desperate battle ensued. The troops kept the Indians off by using the 
bayonet, but the loss was heavy. The next day the fight was resumed, the 
Indians completely surrounding the English. The battle was brought to a 
close by Bouquet's stratagem. He set an ambuscade and then feigned 
retreat. The Indians fell into the trap and were routed. Bouquet had lost 
one-fourth of his men in killed and wounded; and so many of his pack horses 
had been killed that he was obliged to destroy a large part of his stores 
because he could not move them. After a march of four days the army 
reached Port Pitt. 

The effect of this sudden and disastrous war was wide-spread. The 
settlers fled for protection from the frontiers to the forts and towns. The 
settlements on the Greenbrier were deserted. The colonists hurried east of 
the Alleghanies. Indians prowled through all the settled portions of West 
Virginia, extending their raids to the South Branch of the Potomac. More 
than five hundred families from the frontiers took refuge at Winchester. 
Amherst, commander-in-chief of the British forces in America, was enraged 
when he learned of the destruction wrought by the Indians. He offered a 
reward of five hundred dollars to any person who would kill Pontiac, and 
he caused the offer of the reward to be proclaimed at Detroit. "As to 
accommodation with these savages," said he, "I will have none until they 
have felt our just revenge." He urged every measure which could assist in 
the destruction of the savages. He classed the Indians as "the vilest race 
of beings that ever infested the earth, and whose riddance from it must be 
esteemed a meritorious act for the good of mankind. " He declared them 
not only unfit for allies, but unworthy of being respected as enemies. He 
sent orders to the officers on the frontiers to take no prisoners, but kill all 
who could be caught. 

Bouquet's force was not large enough to enable him to invade the Indian 
country in Ohio at that time; but he collected about two thousand men, and 
the next summer carried the war into the enemy's country, and struck 


directly at the Indian towns, assured that by no other means could the sav- 
ages be brought to terms. The army had not advanced far west of Pitts- 
burg when the tribes of Ohio became aware of the invasion and resorted to 
various devices to retard its advance and thwart its purposes. But General 
Bouquet proceeded rapidly, and with such caution and in such force, that 
no attack was made on him by the Indians. The alarm among them was 
great. They foresaw the destruction of their towns; and when all other 
resources had failed, they sent a delegation to Bouquet to ask for peace. 
He signified his willingness to negotiate peace on condition that the Indians 
surrender all white prisoners in their hands. He did not halt however in 
his advance to wait for a reply The Indians saw that the terms must be 
accepted and be complied with without delay if they would save their 
towns. The army was now within striking distance. The terms were 
therefore accepted, and more than two hundred prisoners, a large number 
of whom were women and children, were given up. Other prisoners 
remained with the Indians in remote places, but the most of them were sent 
to Port Pitt the next spring, according to promise. Thus closed Pontiac's 

An agency had been at work for some time to bring about peace, but 
unknown to the English. It was the French, and without their co-opera- 
tion and assistance it is probable the Indians would not have consented to 
the peace. DeNeyon, the French officer at Fort Chartres, wrote a letter 
to Pontiac advising him to make peace with the English, as the war be- 
tween the French and English was over and there was no use of further 
bloodshed. This letter reached Pontiac in November while he was con- 
ducting the siege of Detroit, and its contents becoming known to his Indian 
allies, greatly discouraged them; for it seems that up to that time they 
believed they were helping the French and that the French would soon 
appear in force and fight as of old. When the Indians discovered that no 
help from France was to be expected, they became willing to make peace 
with Bouquet, and for ten years the western frontiers enjoyed immunity 
from war. 




The progress of the settlement of West Virginia from 176-4 to 1774 has 
been noticed elsewhere in this volume. There were ten years of peace; but 
in the year 1774 war with the Indians broke out again. Peace was restored 
before the close of the year. The trouble of 1774 is usually known as Dun- 
more's War, so called from Lord Dunmore who was at that time Governor 
of Virginia, and who took personal charge of a portion of the army operat- 
ing against the Indians. There has been much controversy as to the 
origin or cause of hostilities, and the matter has never been settled satis- 
factorily to all. It has been charged that emissaries of Great Britain 
incited the Indians to take up arms, and that Dunmore was one of the 
moving spirits in this disgraceful conspiracy against the colony of Vir- 
ginia. It is further charged that Dunmore hoped to see the army under 
General Andrew Lewis defeated and destroyed at Point Pleasant, and that 
Dunmore's failure to form a junction with the army under Lewis according 
to agreement, was intentional, premeditated and in the hope that the 
southern division of the army would be crushed. 

This is a charge so serious that no historian has a right to put it for- 
ward without strong evidence for its support — much stronger evidence 
than has yet been brought to light. The charge may be neither wholly 
true nor wholly false. There is not a little evidence against Dunmore in 
this campaign, especially when taken in connection with the state of feel- 
ing entertained by Great Britain against the American colonies at that 
time. In order to present this matter somewhat clearly, yet eliminating 
many minor details, it is necessary to speak of Great Britain's efforts to 
annoy and intimidate the colonies, as early as 1774, and of the spirit in 
which these annoyances were received by the Americans. 

Many people, both in America and England, saw, in 1774, that a revo- 
lution was at hand. The Thirteen Colonies were arriving very near the for- 
mation of a confederacy whose avowed purpose was resistance to Great 
Britain. Massachusetts had raised ninety thousand dollars to buy powder 
and arms; Connecticut provided for military stores and had proposed to 
issue seventy thousand dollars in paper money. In fact, preparations for 
war with England were going steadily forward, although hostilities had not 
begun. Great Britain was getting ready to meet the rebellious colonies, 
either by strategy or force, or both. Overtures had been made by the 
Americans to the Canadians to join them in a common struggle for liberty. 
Canada belonged to Great Britain, having been taken by conquest from 
France in the French and Indian War. Great Britain's first move was 
regarding Canada; not only to prevent that country from joining the Amer- 
icans, but to use Canada as a menace and a weapon against them. Eng- 


land's plan was deeply laid. It was largely the work of Thurlow and Wed- 
derburn. The Canadians were to be granted full religious liberty and a 
large share of political liberty in order to gain their friendship. They were 
mostly Catholics, and with them England, on account of her trouble with 
her Thirteen Colonies, took the first step in Catholic emancipation. Having 
won the Canadians to her side, Great Britain intended to set up a separate 
empire there, and expected to use this Canadian empire as a constant threat 
against the colonies. It was thought that the colonists would cling to 
England through fear of Canada. 

The plan having been matured, its execution was at once attempted. 
The first step was the emancipation of the Canadian Catholics. The next 
step was the passage of the Quebec Act, by which the Province of Quebec 
was extended southward to take in western Pennsylvania and all the coun- 
try belonging to England north and west of the Ohio River. The King of 
England had already forbidden the planting of settlements between the 
Ohio River and the Alleghany Mountains in West Virginia; so the Quebec 
Act was intended to shut the English colonies out of the West and confine 
them east of the Alleghany Mountains. Had this plan been carried into 
execution as intended, it would have curtailed the colonies, at least Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia, and prevented their growth westward. The country 
beyond the Ohio would have become Canadian in its laws and people, and 
Great Britain would have had two empires in America, one Catholic and the 
other Protestant; or, at least, one composed of the Thirteen Colonies and the 
other of Canada extended southward and westward, and it was intended 
that these empires should restrain, check and threaten each other, thus 
holding both loyal to and dependent upon Great Britain. 

Some time before the passage of the Quebec Act a movement was on 
foot to establish a new province called Vandalia, west of the Alleghanies, 
including the greater part of West Virginia and a portion of Kentucky. 
Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were interested in it. The 
capital was to be at the mouth of the Kanawha. The province was never 
formed. Great Britain was not inclined to create states west of the moun- 
tains at a time when efforts were being made to confine the settlements east 
of that range. To have had West Virginia and a portion of Kentucky neu- 
tral ground, and vacant, between the empire of Canada and the empire of 
the Thirteen Colonies would have pleased the authors of the Quebec Act. 
But acts of Parliament and proclamations by the King had little effect on 
the pioneers who pushed into the wilderness of the West to find new homes. 

Before proceeding to a narration of the events of the Dunmore War, it 
is not out of place to inquire concerning Governor Dunmore, and whether, 
from his past acts and general character, he would be likely to conspire 
with the British and the Indians to destroy the western settlements of Vir- 
ginia. Whether the British were capable of an act so savage and unjust as 
inciting savages to harrass the western frontier of their own colonies is not 
a matter for controversy. It is a fact that they did do it during the Revo- 
lutionary War. Whether they had adopted this policy so early as 1774, and 
whether Governor Dunmore was a party to the scheme, is not so certain. 
Therefore let us ask, who was Dunmore? He was a needy, rapacious Scotch 
earl, of the House of Murray, who came to America to amass a fortune and 
who at once set about the accomplishment of his object, with little regard 
for the rights of others or the laws of the country. He was Governor of 
New York a short time; and, although poor when he came, he was the 


owner of fifty thousand acres of land when he left, and was preparing to 
decide, in his own court, in his own favor, a large and unfounded claim 
which he had preferred against the Lieutenant Governor. When he as- 
sumed the office of Governor of Virginia his greed for land and money 
knew no bounds. He recognized no law which did not suit his purpose. He 
paid no attention to positive instructions from the crown, which forbade 
him to meddle with lands in the west. These lands were known to be be- 
yond the borders of Virginia, as fixed by the treaties of Port Stanwix and 
Lochaber, and therefore were not in his jurisdiction. He had soon acquired 
two large tracts in southern Illinois, and also held lands where Louisville, 
Kentucky, now stands, and in Kentucky opposite Cincinnati. Nor did his 
greed for wealth and power stop with appropriating wild lands to his own 
use; but, without any warrant in law, and in violation of all justice, he ex- 
tended the boundaries of Virginia northward to include much of western 
Pennsylvania, Pittsburg in particular; and he made that the county seat of 
Augusta County, and moved the court from Staunton to that place. He 
even changed the name Port Pitt to Port Dunmore. He appointed forty- 
two justices of the peace. Another appointment of his. as lieutenant of 
militia, was Simon Girty, afterwards notorious and infamous as a deser- 
ter and a leader of Indians in their war against the frontiers. He appointed 
John Connolly, a physician and adventurer, commandant of Port Pitt and 
its dependencies, which were supposed to include all the western country. 
Connolly was a willing tool of Dunmore in many a questionable transaction. 
Court was held at Port Pitt until the spring of 1776. The name of Pitts- 
burg first occurs in the court records on August 20, 1776. « When Connolly 
received his appointment he issued a proclamation setting forth his author- 
ity. The Pennsylvanians resisted Dunmore's usurpation, and arrested Con- 
nolly. The Virginia authorities arrested some of the Pennsylvania officers, 
and there was confusion, almost anarchy, so long as Dunmore was Gov- 

Dunmore had trouble elsewhere. His domineering conduct, and his 
support of some of Great Britain's oppressive measures, caused him to be 
hated by the Virginians, and led to armed resistance. Thereupon he threat- 
ened to make Virginia a solitude, using these words: " I do enjoin the mag- 
istrates and all loyal subjects to repair to my assistance, or I shall consider 
the whole country in rebellion, and myself at liberty to annoy it by every 
possible means, and I shall not hesitate at reducing houses to ashes and 
spreading devastation wherever I can reach. With a small body of troops 
and arms, I could raise such a force from among Indians, negroes and other 
persons as would soon reduce the refractory people of the colony to obe- 
dience." The patriots of Virginia finally rose in arms and drove Governor 
Dunmore from the country. Some of these events occurred after the Dun- 
more War, but they serve to show what kind of a man the Governor was. 

Perhaps the strongest argument against the claim that Dunmore was 
in league with Indians, backed by Great Britain, to push back the frontier of 
Virginia to the Alleghanies, is the fact that Dunmore at that time was 
reaching out for lands, for himself, in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio; and his 
land-grabbing would have been cut off in that quarter had the plan of limit- 
ing Virginia to the Alleghanies been successful. He could not have carried 
out his schemes of acquiring possessions in the West had the Quebec Act 
been sustained. Dunmore did more to nullify the Quebec Act than any one 
else. He exerted every energy to extend and maintain the Virginia frontier 


as far west as possible. By this he opposed and circumvented the efforts 
of Great Britain to shut Virginia off from the West. He and the govern- 
ment at home did not work together, nor agree on the frontier policy; and 
in the absence of direct proof sustaining the charge that he was in con- 
spiracy with the British government and the Indians to assail the western 
frontier, the doubt as to his guilt on the charge must remain in his favor. 
Prom the time of the treaty made by General Bouquet with the Indians, 
1764, to the year 1773, there was peace on the frontiers. War did not break 
out in 1773, but murders were committed by Indians which excited the fron- 
tier settlements, and were the first in a series which led to war. The In- 
dians did not comply with the terms of the treaty with General Bouquet. 
They had agreed to give up all prisoners. It was subsequently ascertained 
that they had not done so. Some captives were still held in bondage. But 
this in itself did not lead to the war of 1774. The frontiers, since Bouquet's 
treaty, had been pushed to the Ohio River, in West Virginia, and into Ken- 
tucky. Although Indians had no right by occupation to either West Vir- 
ginia or Kentucky, and although they had given up by treaty any right 
which they claimed, they yet looked with anger upon the planting of settle- 
ments in those countries. The first act of hostility was committed in 1773, 
not in West Virginia, but further south. A party of emigrants, under the 
leadership of a son of Daniel Boone, were on their way to Kentucky when 
they were set upon and several were killed, including young Boone. There 
can be no doubt that this attack was made to prevent or hinder the coloni- 
zation of Kentucky. Soon after this, a white man killed an Indian at a 
horse race. Thiais said to have been the first Indian blood shed on the 
frontier of Virginia by a white man after Pontiac's War. In February 1774 
the Indians killed six white men and two negroes; and in the same month, 
on the Ohio, they seized a trading canoe, killed the men in charge and 
carried the goods to the Shawnee towns. Then the white men began to 
kill also. In March, on the Ohio, a tight occurred between settlers and 
Indians, in which one was killed on each side, and live canoes were taken 
from the Indians. John Connolly wrote from Pittsburg on April 21, to the 
people of Wheeling to be on their guard, as the Indians were preparing for 
war. On April 26, two Indians were killed on the Ohio. On April 30, nine 
Indians were killed on the same river near Steuben ville. On May 1, 
another Indian was killed. About the same time an old Indian named Bald 
Eagle was killed on the Monongahela River; and an Indian camp on the 
Little Kanawha, in the present county of Braxton, was broken up, and the 
natives were killed. This was believed to have been done by settlers on the 
West Pork, in the present County of Lewis. They were induced to take 
that course by intelligence from the Kanawha River that a family named 
Stroud, residing near the mouth of the Gauley River had been murdered, 
and the tracks of the Indians led toward the Indian camp on the Little 
Kanawha. When this camp was visited by the party of white men from the 
West Pork, they discovered clothing and other articles belonging to the 
Stroud family. Thereupon the Indians were destroyed. A party of white 
men with Governor Dunmore's permission destroyed an Indian village on 
the Muskingum River. The frontiers were alarmed. Ports were built in 
which the inhabitants could find shelter from attacks. Expresses were sent 
to Williamsburg entreating assistance. The Virginia Assembly in May 
discussed the dangers from Indians on the frontier, and intimated that the 
militia should be called out. Governor Dunmore ordered out the militia of 


the frontier counties. He then proceeded in person to Pittsburg, partly to 
look after his lands, and partly to take charge of the campaign against the 
Indians. The Delawares and Six Nations renewed their treaty of peace in 
September, but the Shawnees, the most powerful and warlike tribe in Ohio, 
did not. This tribe had been sullen and unfriendly at Bouquet's treaty, and 
had remained sour ever since. Nearly all the captives yet in the hands of 
the Indians were held by this fierce tribe, which defied the white man and 
despised treaties. These savages were ruled by Cornstalk, an able and no 
doubt a good man, opposed to war, but when carried into it by the head- 
strong rashness of his tribe, none fought more bravely than he. The 
Shawnees were the chief fighters on the Indian side in the Dunmore war, 
and they were the chief sufferers. 

After arranging his business at Pittsburg, Governor Dunmore descen- 
ded the Ohio River with twelve hundred men. Daniel Morgan, with a com- 
pany from the Valley of Virginia, was with him. A second army was being 
organized in the southwestern part of Virginia, and Dunmore's instructions 
were that this army, after marching down the Great Kanawha, should join 
him on the Ohio where he promised to wait. The Governor failed to keep 
his promise, but crossed into Ohio and marched against the Shawnee towns 
which he found deserted. He built a fort and sat down to wait. 

In the meantime the army was collecting which was to descend the 
Kanawha. General Andrew Lewis was commander. The pioneers on the 
Greenbrier and New River formed a not inconsiderable part of the army 
which rendezvoused on the site of Lewisburg in Greenbrier County, In 
this army were fifty men from the Watauga, among whom were Evan 
Shelby, James Robertson and Valentine Sevier, names famous in history. 
Perhaps an army composed of better fighting material than that assembled 
for the march to Ohio, never took the held anywhere. The distance from 
Lewisburg to the mouth of the Great Kanawha was about one hundred and 
sixty miles. At that time there was not so much as a trail, if an old Indian 
path, hard to find, is excepted. At the mouth of Elk River the army made 
canoes and embarking in them, proceeded to Point Pleasant, the mouth of 
the Kanawha, which they reached October 6, 1774. Prior to that date 
Simon Girty arrived at Point Pleasant with dispatches from Dunmore, who 
was then at the mouth of the Little Kanawha with his army. The dis- 
patches ordered Lewis to proceed to the mouth of the Hockhocking. When 
Girty reached Point Pleasant, Lewis had no£ arrived, and the dispatches 
were deposited in a hollow tree in a conspicuous place where they would be 
seen. Girty returned to Dunmore's army, which marched to the Hock- 
hocking. Another messenger was sent to Point Pleasant. Scouts passed 
between the two armies, and on October 13 Dunmore ordered Lewis to pro- 
ceed to the Pickaway towns in Ohio. But, in the mean time the battle of 
Point Pleasant had been fought. On October 10 the Indian army under 
Cornstalk arrived, about one thousand in number. The Virginians were 
encamped on the narrow point of land formed by the meeting of the 
Kanawha and Ohio. The Indians crossed the Ohio the evening before, or 
during the night, and went into camp on the West Virginia side, and about 
two miles from the Virginians. They were discovered at daybreak, October 
10, by two young men who were hunting. The Indians fired and killed one 
of them; the other escaped and carried the news to the army. 

This was the first intelligence the Virginians had that the Indians had 
come down from their towns in Ohio to give battle. By what means the 


savages had received information of the advance of the army in time to 
collect their forces and meet it before the Ohio River was crossed, has never 
been ascertained; but it is probable that Indian scouts had watched the 
progress of General Lewis from the time he took up his march from Green- 
brier. Cornstalk laid well his plans for the destruction of the Virginian 
army at Point Pleasant. He formed his line across the neck of land, from 
the Ohio to the Kanawha, and enclosed the Virginians between his line and 
the two rivers. He posted detachments on the farther banks of the Ohio 
and the Kanawha to cut off General Lewis should he attempt to retreat 
across either river. Cornstalk meant not only to defeat the army but to 
destroy it. The Virginians numbered eleven hundred. 

When the news of the advance of the Indian army reached General 
Lewis, he prepared for battle, and sent three hundred men to the front to 
meet the enemy. The fight began at sunrise. Both armies were soon 
engaged over a line a mile long. Both fought from behind trees, logs and 
whatever would offer protection. The lines were always near each other; 
sometimes twenty vards, sometimes less; occasionally near enough to use 
the tomahawk. The battle was remarkable for its obstinacy. It raged six 
hours, almost hand to hand. Then the Indians fell back a short distance and 
took up a strong position, and all efforts to dislodge them by attacks in 
front failed. Cornstalk was along his whole line, and above the din of 
battle his powerful voice could be heard: "Be strong! Be strong!" The 
loss was heavy among the Virginians, and perhaps nearly as heavy among 
the Indians. Late in the afternoon General Lewis discovered a way to 
attack the Indians in flank. A small stream with high banks empties into 
the Kanawha at that point, and he sent a detachment up this stream, the 
movement being concealed from the Indians, and when an advantageous 
jxrint was reached, the soldiers emerged and attacked the Indians. Taken 
by surprise, the savages retreated. This movement decided the day in 
favor of the Virginians. The Indians fled a short distance up the Ohio and 
crossed to the western side, the most of them on logs and rude rafts, proba- 
bly the same on which they had crossed the stream before the battle. The 
Virginians lost sixty men killed and ninety-six wounded. The loss of the 
Indians was not ascertained. They left thirty-three dead on the field, and 
were seen to throw others into the Ohio River. All their wounded were 
carried off. 

The battle of Point Pleasant was the most stubbornly contested of all 
frontier battles with the Indians; but it was by no means the bloodiest. 
Several others could be named in which the loss jf life was much greater; 
notably Braddock's defeat, and the defeat of General St. Clair. The battle 
of Point Pleasant was also remarkable from the number of men who 
took part in it who afterwards became noted, Among them may be men- 
tioned Isaac Shelby, the first Governor of Kentucky; William Campbell, 
the hero of King's Mountain, and who died on the battlefield of Eutaw 
Springs; Colonel John Steel, afterward Governor of Mississippi; George 
Mathews, afterward Governor of Georgia; Colonel William Fleming, Gov- 
ernor of Virginia, and many others. Nearly all the men who were in that 
battle and afterward returned to their homes, were subsequently soldiers 
of the American army in the war for independence. 

The Indians possessed soldierly qualities which have generally been 
underestimated. On the battlefield they were brave and confident. In 
their pitched battles with American soldiers on the frontiers they were 


nearly always out-numbered, and yet they were defeated with difficulty. 
With a smaller force they defeated Braddock; a smaller force fought Bou- 
quet and almost defeated him. St. Clair's disastrous rout was caused by 
an inferior force of Indians. After many defeats from Indians in the North- 
west, they were whipped only when General Wayne attacked them with 
three men to their one. The loss of the Indians was nearly always smaller 
than that of the force opposing them; sometimes, as in the case of Braddock's 
and of St. Clair's defeats, not more than one-tenth as great. The Indians 
selected their ground for a fight with cunning judgment, unsurpassed by 
any people. They never fought after they began to loose heavily, but 
immediately retreated. This was the only policy possible for them. They 
had few men, and if they lost heavily, the loss was irreparable. 

The day following the battle, Colonel Christian arrived with three 
hundred soldiers from Pincastle. Port Randolph was built at Point Pleas- 
ant; and after leaving a garrison there, General Lewis crossed the Ohio 
October 17, and marched nearly a hundred miles to the Scioto River to join 
Governor Dunmore. Before he arrived at Port Charlotte, where Dunmore 
was, he received a message from the Governor, ordering him to stop, and 
giving as a reason that he was about to negotiate a treaty with the Indians. 
General Lewis and his men refused at first to obey this order. They had 
no love for Dunmore, and they did not regard him as a friend of Virginia. 
Not until a second express arrived did General Lewis obey. 

After the fight at Point Pleasant, Cornstalk, Logan and Red Eagle, the 
three principal chiefs who had taken part in the battle, retreated to their 
towns with their tribesmen. Seeing that pursuit was swift and vigorous, 
Cornstalk called a council and asked what should be done. No one had any 
advice to offer. He then proposed to kill the old men, women and children; 
and the warriors then should go out to meet the invaders and fight till every 
Indian had met his death on the field of battle. No reply was made to this 
proposition. Thereupon Cornstalk said that since his men would not fight, 
he would go and make peace; and he did so. Thus ended the war. Gover- 
nor Dunmore had led an army of Virginians into Ohio, and assumed and 
exercised authority there, thus setting aside and nullifying the Act of Par- 
liament which extended the jurisdiction of Quebec to the Ohio River. 

The treaty was made at Carup Charlotte. The Indian Logan, Chief of 
the Mingoes, as is generally stated, but there seems to be no evidence that 
he was a chief at all, refused to attend the conference with Dunmore, but 
sent a speech which has become famous because of the controversy which 
it has occasioned. The speech, which nearly every school boy knows by 
heart, is as follows: 

"I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin 
hungry, and he gave him not meat, if ever he came cold and naked, and he 
clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan 
remained idle in his cabin, an advocate of peace. Such was my love for the 
whites that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, 'Logan is the 
friend of white men. ' I had even thought to have lived with you, but for 
the injuries of one man, Colonel Cresap, who last spring in cold blood and 
unprovoked, murdered all the relatives of Logan, not even sparing my 
women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of 
any living creature. This called upon me for vengeance. I have sought it. 
I have killed many. I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country 
I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbor the thought that mine 


is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to 
save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan? Not one." 

The charge has been made that this speech was a iorgery, written by 
Thomas Jefferson. Others have charged that it was changed and interpo- 
lated after it was delivered. The part referring to Cresap, in particular, 
has been pointed out as an interpolation, because it is now known, and was 
then known, that Cresap (Captain Michael Cresap was meant) did not mur- 
der Logan's relatives. The facts in regard to the speech are these: Logan 
did not make the speech in person, and he did not write it, and he did not 
dictate it to any person who wrote it; but the speech, substantially as we 
now have it, was read at the conference at Camp Charlotte. Logan would 
not attend the conference. Simon Girty, who was employed as interpreter, 
but who could neither read nor write, was sent by Lord Dunmore from 
Camp Charlotte to hunt for Logan, and found him in his camp, which seems 
to have been a few miles distant. Logan would not go to the conference, 
and Girty returned without him. As he approached the circle where the 
conference was in progress, Captain John Gibson walked out to meet him. 
He and Girty conversed a few minutes, and Gibson entered his tent alone, 
and in a few minutes came out with a piece of clean paper on which, in his 
own hand, was written the now famous Logan speech. It is probable that 
in the conversation between Logan and Girty, the former had made use of 
sentiments similar to those in the speech, and Girty repeated them, as 
nearly as he remembered them, to Gibson, and Gibson, who was a good 
scholar, put the speech in classic English. At the most, the sentiment 
only, not the words, were Logan's. 





The territory of the present State of West Virginia was not invaded by 
a British army, except one company of forty, during the war for American 
independence. Its remote position made it safe from attack from the east; 
but this very remoteness rendered it doubly liable to invasion from the 
west where Great Britain had made allies of the Indians, and had armed 
and supplied them, and had sent them against the frontiers from Canada to 
Georgia, with full license to kill man, woman and child. No part of America 
suffered more from the savages than West Virginia. Great Britain's pur- 
pose in employing Indians on the frontiers was to harrass the remote 
country, and not only keep at home all the inhabitants for defense of their 
settlements, but also to make it necessary that soldiers be sent to the West 
who otherwise might be employed in opposing the British near the sea 
coast. Notwithstanding West Virginia's exposed frontier on the west, it 
sent many soldiers to the Continental Army. West Virginians were on 
almost every battlefield of the Revolution. The portion of the State east of 
the Alleghanies, now forming Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, 
Hardy, Grant, Mineral and Pendleton counties, was not invaded by Indians 
during the Revolution, and from this region large numbers of soldiers joined 
the armies under Washington, Gates, Greene and other patriots. 

As early as November 5, 1774, an impo.rtant meeting was held by West 
Virginians in which they clearly indicated under which banner they would 
be found fighting, if Great Britain persisted in her course of oppression. 
This was the first meeting of the kind west of the Alleghanies, and few 
similar meetings had then been held anywhere. It occurred during the 
return of Dunmore's Army from Ohio, twenty-five days after the battle of 
Point Pleasant. The soldiers had heard of the danger of war with England; 
and, although they were under the command of Dunmore, a royal Governor, 
they were not afraid to let the country know that neither a royal Governor 
nor any one else could swerve them from their duty as patriots and lovers 
of liberty. The meeting was held at Fort Gower, north of the Ohio River. 
The soldiers passed resolutions which had the right ring. They recited 
that they were willing and able to bear all hardships of the woods; to get 
along for weeks without bread or salt, if necessary; to sleep in the open 
air; to dress in skins if nothing else could be had; to march further in a day 
than any other men in the world; to use the rifle with skill and with bravery. 
They affirmed their zeal in the cause of right, and promised continued 
allegiance to the King of England, provided he would reign over them as a 
brave and free people. "But," they continued, "as attachment to the real 
interests and just rights of America outweigh every other consideration, we 
resolve that we will exert every power within us for the defence of American 


liberty, when regularly called forth by the unanimous voice of our country- 
men." It was such spirit as this, manifested on every occasion during the 
Revolution, which prompted Washington in the darkest year of the war to 
exclaim that if driven from every point east of the Blue Ridge, he would 
retire west of the mountains and there raise the standard of liberty and bid 
defiance to the armies of Great Britain. 

At two meetings held May 16, 1775, one at Fort Pitt, the other at 
Hannastown, several West Virginians were present and took part in the 
proceedings. Resolutions were passed by which the people west of the 
mountains pledged their support to the Continental Congress, and expressed 
their purpose of resisting the tyranny of the mother country. In 1775 a 
number of men from the Valley of the Monongahela joined Washington's 
army before Boston. The number of soldiers who went forward from the 
eastern part of the State was large. 

There were a few persons in West Virginia who adhered to the cause 
of England; and who from time to time gave trouble to the patriots; but 
the promptness with which their attempted risings were crushed is proof 
that traitors were in a hopeless minority. The patriots considered them as 
enemies and dealt harshly with them. There were two attempted uprisings 
in West Virginia, one in the Monongahela Valley, which the inhabitants of 
that region were able to suppress; the other uprising was on the South 
Branch of the Potomac, in what is now Hardy and Grant Counties, and 
troops were sent from the Shenandoah Valley to put it down. In the 
Monongahela Valley several of the tories were arrested and sent to Rich- 
mond. It is recorded that the leader was drowned in Cheat River while 
crossing under guard on his way to Richmond. Two men of the Morgan 
family were his guard. The boat upset while crossing the river. It was 
the general impression of the citizens of the community that the upsetting 
was not accidental. The guards did not like to take the long journey to 
Richmond while their homes and' the homes of their neighbors were exposed 
to attacks from Indians. The tory uprising on the South Branch was much 
more serious. The first indication of trouble was given by their refusal to 
pay their taxes, or to furnish their quota of men for the militia. Complaint 
was made by the Sheriff of Hampshire county, and Colonel Vanmeter with 
thirty men was sent to enforce the collection of taxes. The tories armed 
themselves, to the number of fifty, for resistance, and placed themselves 
under the leadership of John Brake, a German, whose house was above 
Petersburg, in what is now Grant County. These enemies of their country 
had made his place their rendezvous. They met the militia from Hamp- 
shire, but no fight took place. Apparently each side was afraid to begin. 
There was a parley in which Colonel Vanmeter pointed out to the tories the 
consequence which must follow, if they persisted in their present course. 
He advised them to disperse, go to their homes and conduct themselves as 
law-abiding citizens. He left them and marched home. 

The disloyal elements grew in strength and insolence. They imagined 
that the authorities were afraid and would not again interfere with them. 
They organized a company, elected John Claypole their captain, and pre- 
pared to march off and join the British forces. General Morgan was at that 
time at his home in Frederick County, and he collected militia to the 
number of four hundred, crossed the mountain and fell on the tories in such 
dead earnest that they lost all their enthusiasm for the cause of Great 
Britain. Claypole was taken prisoner, and William Baker, who refused tq 


surrender, was shot, but not killed. Later a man named Mace was killed. 
Brake was overawed; and after two days spent in the neighborhood, the 
militia, under General Morgan, returned home. The tories were crushed. 
A number of them were so ashamed of what they had done that they joined 
the American army and fought as patriots till the close of the war, thus 
endeavoring to redeem their lost reputations. 

The contrast between the conduct of the tories on the South Branch 
and the patriotic devotion of the people on the Greenbrier is marked. 
Money was so scarce that the Greenbrier settlers could not pay their taxes, 
although willing to do so. They fell delinquent four years in succession 
and to the amount of thirty thousand dollars. They were willing to per- 
form labor if arrangements could be made to do it. Virginia agreed to the 
proposition, and the people of Greenbrier built a road from Lewisburg to 
the Kanawha River in payment of their taxes. 

The chief incidents in West Virginia's history during the Revolutionary 
War were connected with the Indian troubles. The State was invaded four 
times by forces large enough to be called armies; and the incursions by 
smaller parties were so numerous that the mere mention of them would 
form a list of murders, ambuscades and personal encounters of tedious and 
monotonous length. The first invasion occurred in 1777 when Port Henry, 
now Wheeling, was attacked; the second, 1778, when Port Randolph, now 
Point Pleasant, was besieged for one week, the Indians moving as far east 
as Greenbrier County, where Donnolly's^fort was attacked; the third inva- 
sion was in August, 1781, when Port Henry was again attacked by 250 In- 
dians under the leadership of Matthew Elliott. The fourth invasion 
occurred in September, 1782, when Wheeling was again attacked. The 
multitude of incursions by Indians must be passed over briefly. The cus- 
tom of the savages was to make their way into a settlement and either lie 
in wait along paths and shoot those who attempted to pass or break into 
houses and murder the inmates or take them prisoner, and then make off 
hastily for the Ohio River. Once across that stream, pursuit was not prob- 

The custom of the Indians in taking prisoners, and their great exertion 
to accomplish that purpose, is a difficult thing to explain. Prisoners were 
of little or no use to them. They did not make slaves of them. If they 
sometimes received money as ransom for captives the hope of ransom money 
seems seldom or never to have prompted them to carry prisoners to their 
towns. They sometimes showed a liking, if not affection, for captives 
adopted into their tribes and families; but this kindly feeling was shallow 
and treacherous, and Indians would not hesitate to burn at the stake a cap- 
tive who had been treated as one of their family for months if they should 
take it into their heads that revenge for injuries received from others called ' 
for a sacrifice. The Indians followed no rule or precedent as to which of 
their captives they would kill and which carry to their towns. They some- 
times killed children and spared adults, and sometimes the reverse. 

When the Revolutionary War began the English and the Americans 
strove to obtain the good will of the western Indians. The Americans sent 
Simon Girty and James Wood on a peaceful mission to the Ohio tribes in 
July, 1775. On February 22 of that year Simon Girty had taken the oath 
of allegiance to the King of England, but when war commenced he took sides 
with the Americans. In July, 1775, Congress created three Indian depart- 
ments, that embracing the portions of West Virginia and Pennsylvania west 


of the Alleghanies, to be known as the Middle Department. Commissioners 
were appointed to establish and maintain friendly relations with the Indians. 
In October of that year delegates from several of the Ohio tribes visited 
Pittsburg, which, since September before, had been occupied by Captain 
John Neville and a garrison of one hundred Americans. The Indian dele- 
gates made a treaty and agreed to remain neutral during the trouble be- 
tween the colonies and Great Britain. 

The British were less humane. Instead of urging the savages to 
remain neutral, as the Americans had done, they excited the tribes to take 
up the hatchet against the Americans. The subsequent horrors of the In- 
dian warfare along the frontier are chargeable to the British, who resorted 
to "every means which God and nature bad placed in their power" to an- 
noy the Americans. The most industrious of British agents in stirring up 
the Indians was Henry Hamilton, who in April, 1775, was appointed Lieu- 
tenant-Governor and Indian agent, with headquarters at Detroit. His sal- 
ary was one thousand dollars a year. He reached his destination Novem- 
ber 9, 1775. The Indians flocked to him and importuned him for permission 
and assistance to attack the settlements. But Hamilton had not yet received 
instructions from his government, authorizing him to employ Indians, and 
he did not send them to war at that time. In June, 1776, George Morgan, 
Indian agent for the Middle Department, held a conference with some of 
the Ohio tribes and succeeded in keeping them away from Detroit at that 
time. The suggestion that Indians be employed against the Americans 
came from Governor Hamilton late in 1776. The proposition was eagerly 
accepted; and on Mafch 26, 1777, Lord George Germain gave the fatal order 
that Hamilton assemble all the Indians possible and send them against the 
frontiers, under the leadership of proper persons who could restrain them. 
This order was received by Governor Hamilton in June 1777, and before 
August 1 he had sent out fifteen marauding parties aggregating 289 Indians. 

The year 1777 is called in border history the "bloody year of the three 
sevens. " The British sent against the frontiers every Indian who could be 
prevailed upon to go. Few settlements from New York to Florida escaped. 
In this State the most harm was done on the Monongabela and along the 
Ohio in the vicinity of Wheeling. Monongalia County was visited twice by 
the savages that year, and a number of persons were killed. A party of 
twenty invaded what is now Randolph county, killed a number of settlers, 
took several prisoners and made their escape. It was on November 10 of 
this year that Cornstalk, the Shawnee chief, was assassinated at Point 
Pleasant by militiamen who assembled there from Greenbrier and else- 
where for the purpose of marching against the Indian towns. Earlier in 
the year Cornstalk had come to Fort Randolph, at Point Pleasant, on a 
visit, and also to inform the commandant of the fort that the British were 
inciting the Indians to war, and that his own tribe, the Shawnees, would 
likely be swept along with the current, in spite of his efforts to keep them 
at home. Under these circumstances the commandant of the fort thought 
it best to detain Cornstalk as a hostage to insure the neutrality of his tribe. 
It does not seem that the venerable Chief was unwilling to remain. He 
wanted peace. Some time after that his son came to see him, and crossed 
the Ohio, after making his presence known by hallooing from the other 
side. The next day two of tne militiamen crossed the Ohio to hunt and 
one was killed by an Indian. The other gave the alarm, and the 
militiamen crossed the river and brought in the body of the dead man. The 


soldiers believed that the Indian who had committed the deed had come the 
day before with Cornstalk's son, and had lain concealed until an oppor- 
tunity occurred to kill a man. The soldiers were enraged, and started up 
the river bank toward the cabin where Cornstalk resided, announcing that 
they would kill the Indians. There were with Cornstalk his son and 
another Indian, Red Eagle. A sister of Cornstalk, known as the Granadier 
Squaw, had lived at the fort some time as interpreter. She hastened to the 
cabin and urged her brother to make his escape. He might have done so, 
but refused, and admonished his son to die like a man. The soldiers 
arrived at that time and fired. All three Indians were killed. The leaders 
of the men who did it were 'afterwards given the semblance of a trial in 
Virginia, and were acquitted. 

It is the opinion of those acquainted with border history that the mur- 
der of Cornstalk brought more suffering upon the West Virginia frontier 
than any other event of that time. Had he lived, he would perhaps have 
been able to hold the Shawnees in check. Without the co-operation of that 
bloodthirsty tribe the border war of the succeeding years would have been 
different. Four years later Colonel Crawford, who had been taken 
prisoner, was put to death with extreme torture in revenge for the murder 
of Cornstalk, as some of the Indians claimed. 

Port Henry was besieged September 1, 1777, by two hundred Indians. 
General Hand, of Fort Pitt, had been informed that the Indians were pre- 
paring for an attack in large numbers upon some point of the frontier, and 
the settlements between Pittsburg and Point Pleasant were placed on their 
guard. Scouts were sent out to discover the advance of the Indians in time 
to give the alarm. But the scouts discovered no Indians. It is now known 
that the savages had advanced in small parties, avoiding trails, and had 
united near Wheeling, crossed the Ohio a short distance below that place, 
and on the night of the last day of August approached Fort Henry, and 
setting ambuscades near it, waited for daylight. Fort Henry was made of 
logs set on end in the ground, in the manner of pickets, and about seven- 
teen feet high. There were port holes through which to fire. The garrison 
consisted of less than forty men, the majority of whom lived in Wheeling 
and the immediate vicinity. Early in the morning of September 1 the 
Indians decoyed Captain Samuel Mason with fourteen men into the field 
some distance from the fort, and killed all but three. Captain Mason alone 
reached the fort, and two of his men succeeded in hiding, and finally 
escaped. When the Indians attacked Mason's men, the firing was heard at 
the fort, together with the yells of the savages. Captain Joseph Ogle with 
twelve men sallied out to assist Mason. He was surrounded and nine of his 
men were killed. There were only about a dozen men remaining in the 
fort to resist the attack of four hundred Indians, flushed with victory. 
There were perhaps one hundred. women and children in the stockade. 

In a short time the Indians advanced against the fort, with drum and 
fife, and the British flag waving over them. It is not known who was 
leader. He was a white man, or at least there was a white man among 
them who seemed to be leader. Many old frontier histories, as well as the 
testimony of those who were present, united in the assertion that the In- 
dians at this siege were led by Simon Girty. It is strange that this mistake 
could have been made, for it was a mistake. Simon Girty was not there. 
He was at that time, and for nearly five months afterwards, near Fort Pitt. 
The commander of the Indian army posted himself in the window of a house 


within hearing of the fort, and read the proclamation of Governor Hamil- 
ton, of Detroit, offering Great Britain's protection in case of surrender, but 
massacre in case of resistance. Colonel Shepherd, commandant of the fort, 
replied that the garrison would not surrender. The leader was insisting 
upon the impossibility of holding out, when his words were cut short by a 
shot fired at him from the fort. He was not struck. The Indians began 
the assault with a rush for the fort gate. They tried to break it open; and 
failing in this, they endeavored to push the posts of the stockade down. 
They could make no impression on the wall. The fire of the garrison was 
deadly, and the savages recoiled. They charged again and again, some 
times trying to break down the walls with battering rams, attempting to set 
them on fire; and then sending their best marksmen to pick off the garrison 
by shooting through the port holes. In course of time the deadly aim of 
those in the fort taught the savages a wholesome caution. Women fought 
as well as men. The siege continued two nights and two days, but all at- 
tempts of the Indians to burn the fort or break into it were unavailing. 
They killed many of the cattle about the settlement, partly for food partly 
from wantonness. They burned nearly all the houses and barns in Wheel- 
ing. The savages were preparing for another assault when Colonel Andrew 
Swearengen, with fourteen men, landed near the fort and gained an en- 
trance. Shortly afterwards Major Samuel McColloch, at the head of forty 
men, arrived, and after a severe fight, all reached the fort except McCol- 
loch, who was cut off, but made his escape. The Indians now despaired of 
success, and raised the siege. No person in the fort was killed. The loss 
of the Indians was estimated at forty or fifty. 

In September of this year, 1777, Captain William Foreman, of Hamp- 
shire County, with about twenty men of that county, who had gone to 
Wheeling to assist in fighting the savages, was ambushed and killed at 
Grave Creek, below Wheeling, by Indians supj)osed to have been a portion 
of those who had besieged Port Henry. 

On March 28, 1778, Simon Girty ran away from Pittsburg in company 

with Alexander McKee, Robert Surphitt, Matthew Elliott, Higgins 

and two negroes belonging to McKee. It is misleading to call Girty a 
deserter, as he was not in the military service. He had formerly been an 
interpreter in pay, but he was discharged for unbecoming behavior. He 
had two brothers, James and George, who also joined the British and did 
service among the Indians; and one brother who remained true to the Amer- 
icans. Simon Girty reached Detroit in June, 1778, after a loitering journey 
through the Indian country, during which he busied himself stirring up 
mischief. He was employed by the British as interpreter at two dollars a 
day, and was sent by Hamilton to work among the Ohio Indians. His influ- 
ence for evil was great, and his character shows few redeeming traits. 

The year 1778 was one of intense excitement on the frontier. An In- 
dian force of about two hundred attacked Port Randolph, at the mouth of 
the Kanawha, in May, and besieged the place one week. The savages made 
several attempts to carry it by storm. But they were unsuccessful. They 
then moved off, up the Kanawha, in the direction of Greenbrier. Two 
soldiers from Port Randolph eluded the savages, overtook them within 
twenty miles of the Greenbrier settlement, passed them that night, and 
alarmed the people just in time for them to flee to the blockhouses. Don- 
nally's fort stood within two miles of the present village of Frankfort, in 
Greenbrier County. Twenty men, with their families, took shelter there. 


At Lewisburg, ten miles distant, perhaps one hundred men had assembled, 
with their families. The Indians apparently knew which was the weaker 
fort, and accordingly proceeded against Donnally's, upon which they made 
an attack at daybreak. One of the men had gone out for kindling wood 
and had left the gate open. The Indians killed this man and made a rush 
for the fort and crowded into the yard. While some crawled under the 
floor, hoping to gain an entrance by that means, others climbed to the roof. 
Still others began hewing the door, which had been hurriedly closed. All 
the men in the fort were asleep except one white man and a negro slave. 
As the savages were forcing open the door, the foremost was killed with a 
tomahawk by the white man, and the negro discharged a musket loaded 
with heavy shot into the faces of the Indians. The men in the fort were 
awakened and fired through the port holes. Seventeen savages were killed 
in the yard. The others fell back, and contented themselves with firing at 
longer range. In the afternoon sixty-six men arrived from Lewisburg, and 
the Indians were forced to raise the siege. Their expedition to Greenbrier 
had been a more signal failure than the attempt on Port Randolph. 

The country along the Monongahela was invaded three times in the 
year "1778, and once the following year. Pew settlements within one hun- 
dred miles of the Ohio River escaped. In 1780 Greenbrier was again paid 
a visit by the savages; and in this year their raids extended eastward into 
Randolph County, and to Cheat River, in Tucker County, to the very base 
of the Alleghany Mountains. The Monongahela Valley, as usual, did not 
escape, and ten settlers were killed. 

In this year General George Roger Clark, with a small but excellent 
army, invaded Illinois to break up the British influence there. He left 
Captain Helm in charge of Vincennes, Indiana. No sooner had Governor 
Hamilton heard of the success of Clark than he set out from Detroit to re- 
establish the British jjrestige. He took with him thirty-five British regu- 
lars, forty-four irregulars, seventy militia and sixty Indians. He picked 
other Indians up on the way, and reached Vincennes December 17. Cap- 
tain Helm surrendered. Hamilton then dismissed the Indians, ordering 
them to re-assemble the next spring with large reenforcements. His 
designs were ambitious, embracing conquests no less extensive than the 
driving of the Americans out of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, 
and the capture of Pittsburg. But General Clark destroyed all of these 
high hopes. Marching in the dead of winter he captured Vincennes, Feb- 
ruary 25, 1779, after a severe fight, and released nearly one hundred white 
prisoners, chastised the Indians, captured stores worth fifty thousand 
dollars, cleared the whole country of British from the Mississippi to Detroit; 
and, most important of all, captured Governor Hamilton himself, and sent 
him in chains to Richmond. This victory secured to the United States the 
country as far as the Mississippi; and it greatly dampened the ardor of the 
Indians. They saw for the first time that the British were not able to pro- 
tect them. 

Port Mcintosh was built in 1778 on the north bank of the Ohio, below 
the mouth of Beaver, and the headquarters of the army were moved from 
Pittsburg to that place, October 8, 1778. In the same year Port Laurens 
was built on the west bank of the Tuscarawas, below the mouth of Sandy 
Creek, and Colonel John Gibson was placed in command with 150 men. On 
March 22, 1779, Captain Bird, a British officer from Detroit, and Simon 
Girty, with 120 Indians and seven or eight British soldiers, besieged the 


fort and remained before it nearly a month, but failed to take it, although 
they killed a number of soldiers. 

In April, 1781, General Brodhead, with 150 regulars and 150 militia, 
crossed the Ohio at Wheeling and led an expedition against the Delawares 
at Coshocton. He killed or captured thirty Indians and destroyed a few 
towns. He suffered little loss. In 1782 occurred the massacre of the Mora- 
vian Indians in Ohio. They lived under the care of missionaries, and 
claimed to be at peace with all men. But articles of clothing were discov- 
ered among them which were recognized as belonging to white settlers who 
had been murdered in West Virginia. This confirmed the suspicion that 
the Moravian Indians, if they did not take part in raids against the settle- 
ments, had a good understanding with Indians who were engaged in raiding 
They were therefore put to death. The act was barbarous and inexcusable. 

The third and last siege of Wheeling occurred in September 1782. The 
British planned an attack on Wheeling in July of that year, just after 
Crawford's defeat which had greatly encouraged the Indians. They had 
scarcely ended the torture of prisoners who had fallen into their hands, 
including Colonel Crawford, when they clamored to be led against the 
settlements. The British were only too willing to assist them; and in July 
a number of British soldiers and 300 Indians, under command of a white 
man named Caldwell, moved toward Wheeling. Simon and George Girty 
were in this force. Before the army had fairly set out, news came that 
General Clark was invading the Indian country. The army on the march 
to Wheeling halted. At the same time a rumor was spread that General 
Irvine was marching toward Canada from Pittsburg. Reinforcements for 
Canada were asked for, and 1400 Indians assembled. Subsequently it was 
learned that the reports of invasions were unfounded, and the Indian army 
dispersed. Caldwell with George and Simon Girty and 300 Indians invaded 
Kentucky and attacked Bryant's station August 14, 1782. The British and 
Indians did not give up the proposed expedition against Wheeling, and Capt. 
Pratt with 40 British regulars and 238 Indians marched against the place and 
attacked it September 11. James Girty was with this expedition but had no 
command. Simon Girty was never present at any attack on Wheeling. 

There were fewer than twenty men in Port Henry at Wheeling when the 
Indians appeared. The commandant, Captain Boggs, had gone to warn the 
neighboring settlements of danger. The whole attacking force marched 
under the British flag. Just before the attack commenced, a boat, in 
charge of a man named Sullivan, arrived from Pittsburg, loaded with 
cannon balls for the garrison at Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Sullivan and 
his party seeing the danger, tied the boat and made their way to the fort 
and assisted in the defense. The besiegers demanded an immediate surren- 
der, which was not complied with. The attack was delayed till night. The 
experience gained by the Indians in the war had taught them that little is 
gained by a wild rush against the walls of a stockade. No doubt Captain 
Pratt advised them also what course to pursue. When night came they 
made their assault. More than twenty times did they pile hemp against 
the walls of the fort and attempt to set the structure on fire. But the 
hemp was damp and burned slowly. No harm was done. Colonel Zane's 
cabin stood near the stockade. His house had been burned at the siege in 
1777; and when the Indians again appeared he resolved to defend his build- 
ing. He remained in the cabin with two or three others, among them a 
negro slave. That night an Indian crawled up with a chunk of fire to burn 


the house, hut a shot from the negro's gun crippled him and he gave up his 
incendiary project. Attempts were made to break down the gates, but they 
did not succeed. A small cannon mounted on one of the bastions was occa- 
sionally discharged among the savages, much to their discomfiture. On 
one occasion when a number of Indians had gathered in a loft of one of the 
nearest cabins and were dancing and yelling in defiance of the garrison, the 
cannon was turned on them, and a solid shot cutting one of the joists, pre- 
cipitated the savages to the floor beneath and put a stop to their revelry. 

The Indians captured the boat with the cannon balls, and decided to 
use them. They procured a hollow log, plugged one end, and wrapped it 
with chains stolen from a neighboring blacksmith shop. They loaded the 
piece with powder and ball, and fired it at the fort. Pieces of the wooden 
cannon flew in all directions, killing and maiming several Indians, but did 
not harm the fort. The savages were discouraged, and when a force of 
seventy men, under Captain Boggs, approached, the Indians fled. They 
did not, however, leave the country at once, but made an attack on Rice's 
fort, where they lost four warriors and accomplished nothing. 

The siege of Port Henry is remarkable from the fact that the flag 
under which the army marched to the attack, and which was shot down 
during the fight, was the last British flag to float over an army in battle, 
during the Revolution, within the limits of the United States. West Vir- 
ginia was never again invaded by a large Indian force, but small parties 
continued to make incursions till 1795. The war with England closed by a 
treaty of peace in 1783. In July of that year DePeyster, Governor at 
Detroit, called the Indians together, told them that the war between Amer- 
ica and Great Britain was at an end, and dismissed them. After that date 
the Indians fought on their own account, although the British still held 
posts in the Northwest, under the excuse that the Americans had not com- 
plied with the terms of the treaty of peace. It was believed, and not with- 
out evidence, that the savages were still encouraged by the British, if not 
directly supplied with arms, to wage war against the frontiers. In the 
autumn of 1783 there was a large gathering of Indians at Sandusky, 
where they were harangued by Sir John Johnson, the British 
Superintendent of Indian affairs. Simon Girty was present and was using 
his influence for evil. Johnson urged the Indians to further resistance. 

In February, 1783, while the English Parliament was discussing the 
American treaty, about to be ratified, Lord North, who opposed peace on 
the proposed terms, insisted that the Americans should be shut away from 
the Great Lakes; the forts in that vicinity should be held, and Can- 
ada should be extended to the Ohio River. He declared that 
the Indian allies of Great Britain ought to be cared for, and that 
their independence ought to be guaranteed by Great Britain. In 
the autumn of that year, 1783, when the order was given for the 
evacuation of New York by the British, Lord North, on the petition of 
merchants and fur traders of Canada, withheld the order for the evacua- 
tion of the posts about the lakes. On August 8 of that year Baron Steuben, 
who had been sent for that purpose by the Americans, demanded of Gover- 
nor Haldimand of Canada, that British forces be withdrawn from the posts 
in the Northwest. Governor Haldimand replied that he had received no 
instructions on that subject, and he would not surrender the posts. The 
British, in 1785, claimed that they continued to hold the posts in Ohio, 
Indiana and beyond because some of the states, and especially Virginia, 


had not yet opened their courts to British creditors for the collection of debts 
against Americans incurred before the war. Thus the British continued to 
occupy posts clearly within the United States, much to the irritation of the 
American people. The Indians were restless, and the belief was general, 
and was well founded, that the British were encouraging them to hostility. 
They became insolent, and invaded the settlements in West Virginia and 
Kentucky, and in 1790 the United States declared war upon them and took 
vigorous measures to bring them to terms. General Harmar invaded the 
country north of the Ohio at the head of a strong force in 1790. He 
suffered his army to be divided and defeated. The next year General St. 
Clair led an army into the Indian country, and met with one of the most 
disastrous defeats in the annals of Indian warfare. He lost nearly eight 
hundred men in one battle. General Wayne now took charge of the cam- 
paign in the Indian country. When he began to invade the northern part 
Ohio, the British about Lake Erie moved south and built a fort on the 
Maumee River, opposite Perrysville. Ohio. This was in the summer of 
1794. The object in building the fort was clearly to encourage the Indians 
and to insult the Americans. On August 20, 1794, General Wayne found 
the Indians within two miles of the British fort, prepared for battle. He 
made an attack on the savages, routed them in a few minutes and drove 
them. They were crushed and there was no more fight in them for fifteen 

General Wayne was a Revolutionary soldier, and had little love for the 
British. The sight of their fort on American soil filled him with impatience 
to attack it; but he did not wish to do so without a pretext. He hoped to 
provoke the garrison to attack him, to give him an excuse to destroy the 
fort. He therefore camped his army after the battle within half a mile of 
the fort. The commandant sent a message to him saying: "The comman- 
dant of the British fort is surprised to see an American army advanced so 
far into this country," and "why has the army had the assurance to camp 
under the very mouths of His Majesty's cannon?" General Wayne answered 
that the battle which had just taken place might well inform the British 
what the American army was doing in that country, and added : ' 'Had the 
flying savages taken shelter under the walls of the fort, His Majesty's 
cannon should not have protected them." Two days later General Wayne 
destroyed everything to within one hundred yards of the fort, and laid 
waste the Indian fields of corn, pumpkins and beans for miles around. The 
country was highly cultivated, there being thousands of acres in corn and 
vegetables. Finding that his efforts thus far had failed to provoke an 
attack by the garrison, General Wayne led his soldiers to within pistol 
shot of the walls, in hope of bringing a shot from his inveterate enemies. 
But the only reply General Wayne received was a flag of truce with another 
message, which stated that ' 'the British commandant is much aggrieved at 
seeing His Majesty's colors insulted." Wayne then burned all the houses 
and destroyed all the property to the very walls of the fort. This cam- 
paign ended the depredation of the Indians in West Virginia. 




West Virginia's boundaries coincide, in part, with the boundaries of five 
other States, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky. Some 
of these lines are associated with events of historical interest, and for a 
number of years were subjects of controversy, not always friendly. It is 
understood, of course, that all the boundary lines of the territory now em- 
braced in West Virginia, except the line between this State and Virginia, 
were agreed to and settled before West Virginia became a seperate State. 
That is, the lines between this State and Pennsylvania, Maryland,. Ken- 
tucky and Ohio were all settled more than one hundred years ago. To 
speak briefly of each, the line separating West Virginia from Ohio may be 
taken first. 

At the time the Articles of Confederation were under discussion in 
Congress, 1778, Virginia's territory extended westward to the Mississippi 
River. The government of the United States never recognized the Quebec 
Act, which was passed by the English Parliament before the Revolutionary 
War, and which extended the province of Quebec south to the Ohio River. 
Consequently, after the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia's 
claim to that territory was not disputed by the other colonies; but when 
the time came for agreeing to the Articles of Confederation which bound 
the states together in one common country, objection was raised to Vir- 
ginia's extensive territory, which was nearly as large as all the other states 
together. The fear was expressed that Virginia would become so power- 
ful and wealthy, on account of its extent, that it would possess and exer- 
cise an influence in the affairs of government too great for the well-being 
of the other states. 

Maryland appears to have been the first state to take a decided stand 
("hat Virginia should cede its territory north and west of the Ohio to the 
general government. It was urged in justification of this course that the 
territory had been conquered from the British and the Indians by the blood 
and treasure of the whole country, and that it was right that the vacant 
lands should be appropriated to the use of the citizens of the whole 
country. Maryland took this stand June 22, 1778. Virginia refused to 
consent to the ceding of her western territory; and from that time till Feb- 
ruary 2, 1781, Maryland refused to agree to the Ai'ticles of Confederation. 
On November 2, 1778, New Jersey formally filed an objection to Virginia's 
large territory; but the New Jersey delegates finally signed the Articles of 
Confederation, expressing at the same time the conviction that justice 
would in time remove the inequality in territories as far as possible. On 
February 22, 1779, the delegates from Delaware signed, but also remon- 
strated, and presented resolutions setting forth that the United States Con- 


gress ought to have power to fix the western limits of any state claiming 
territory to the Mississippi or beyond. On May 21, 1779, the delegates 
from Maryland laid before Congress instructions received by them from the 
General Assembly of Maryland. The point aimed at in these instructions 
was that those states having almost boundless western territory had it in 
their power to sell lands at a very low price, thus filling their treasuries 
with money, thereby lessening taxation; and at the same time the cheap 
lands and the low taxes would draw away from adjoining states many of 
the best inhabitants. Congress was, therefore, asked to use its influence 
with those states having extensive territory, to the end that they would 
not place their lands on the market until the close of the Revolutionary War. 
Virginia was not mentioned by name, but it was well known that reference 
was made to that State. Congress passed, October 30, 1779, a resolution 
requesting Virginia not to open a land office till the close of the war. On 
March 7, 1780, the delegates from New York announced that State ready to 
give up its western territory; and this was formally done on March 1, 1781. 
New York having thus opened the way, other states followed the example 
and ceded to the United States their western territories or claims as follows: 
Virginia, March 1, 1784; Massachusetts, April 19, 1785; Connecticut, Sep- 
tember 14, 1786; South Carolina, August 9, 1787; North Carolina, February 
25, 1790; Georgia, April 24, 1802. 

Within less than two months after Virginia ceded her northwest terri- 
tory to the United States, Congress passed an ordinance for the govern- 
ment of the territory. The deed of cession was made by Thomas Jefferson, 
Arthur Lee, Samuel Hardy and James Monroe, delegates in Congress from 
Virginia. The boundary line between Virginia and the territory ceded to 
the general government was the northwest bank of the Ohio River at low 
water. The islands in the stream belonged to Virginia. When West Vir- 
ginia became a separate State, the boundary remained unchanged. 

The line between West Virginia and Kentucky remains the same as 
that formerly separating Virginia from Kentucky. The General Assembly 
of Virginia, December 18, 1789, passed an act authorizing a convention to be 
held in the District of Kentucky to consider whether it was expedient to 
form that district into a separate State. The convention decided to form a 
State, and Kentucky was admitted into the Union in 1792. Commissioners 
were appointed to adjust the boundary line between Virginia and Kentucky, 
and agreed that the line separating the two states should remain the same 
as that formerly separating Virginia from the District of Kentucky. The 
line is as follows so far as West Virginia and Kentucky are contiguous: 
Beginning at the northwestern point of McDowell County, thence down Big 
Sandy River to its confluence with the Ohio. 

The line dividing the northern limits of West Virginia from the south- 
ern limits of Pennsylvania was for many years a matter of dispute. Mary- 
land and Pennsylvania had nearly a century of bickering concerning the 
matter before Virginia took it up in earnest. It is not necessary at this 
time to give the details of the controversy. A few facts will suffice. Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland having contended for a long time over their common 
boundary line, two eminent astronomers, Charles Mason and Jeremiah 
Dixon of England, were employed to mark a line five degrees west from 
the Delaware River at a point where it is crossed by the parallel of north lati- 
tude 39 degrees, 43 minutes, 26 seconds. They commenced work in the lat- 
ter part of 1763, and completed it in the latter part of 1767. This line, 


called Mason and Dixon's line, was accepted as the boundary between 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the controversy was at an end. But 
beyond the west line of Maryland, where Virginia's and Pennsylvania's 
posessions came in contact, a dispute arose, almost leading to open hostili- 
ties between the people of the two states. Virginia wanted Pittsburg, and 
boldly and stubbornly set up a claim to territory, at least as far north as 
the fortieth degree of latitude. This would have given Virginia part of 
Payette and Greene Counties, Pennsylvania. On the other hand, Penn- 
sylvania claimed the country south to the thirty-ninth degi"ee, which 
would have extended its jurisdiction over the present territory of West Vir- 
ginia included in the counties of Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Taylor, 
parts of Tucker, Barbour, Upshur, Lewis, Harrison, Wetzel and Randolph. 
The territory in dispute was about four times as large as the State of 
Rhode Island. It was finally settled by a compromise. It was agreed that 
the Mason and Dixon's line be extended west five degrees from the Dela- 
ware River. The commissioners appointed to adjust the boundary were 
Dr. James Madison and Robert Andrews on the part of Virginia, and David 
Ritenhouse, John Ewing and George Bryan on the part of Pennsylvania. 
They met at Baltimore in 1779 and agreed upon a line. The next year the 
agreement was ratified, by Virginia in June and Pennsylvania in Septem- 
ber. A line was then run due north from the western end of Mason and 
Dixon's line, till it reached the Ohio River. This completed the boundary 
lines between Virginia and Pennsylvania; and West Virginia's territory is 
bounded by the same lines. 

The fixing of the boundary between Virginia and Maryland was long a 
subject of controversy. It began in the early years of the colony, long 
before the Revolutionary War, and has continued, it may be said, till the 
present day, for occasionally the agitation is revived. West Virginia inheri- 
ted most of the subject of dispute when it set up a separate government. 
The controversy began so early in the history of the country, when the 
geography of what is now West Virginia was so imperfectly understood, 
that boundaries were stated in general terms, following certain ri vers; and in 
after time these general terms were differently understood. Nearly two hun- 
dred years ago the Potomac River was designated as the dividing line between 
lands granted in Maryland and lands granted in Virginia; but at that time 
the upper tributaries of that river had never been explored, and as no one 
knew what was the main stream and what were tributary streams, Lord 
Fairfax had the stream explored, and the explorers decided that the main 
river had its source at a point where the Fairfax Stone was planted, the 
present corner of Tucker, Preston and Grant Counties, in West Virginia. 
It also was claimed as the southwest corner of Maryland. It has so 
remained to this day, but not without much controversy on the part of 

The claim was set up by Maryland, in 1830, that the stream known as 
the South Branch of the Potomac is the main Potomac River, and that all 
territory north of that stream and south of Pennsylvania, belonged to 
Maryland. A line drawn due north from the source of the South Branch to 
the Pennsylvania line was to be the western boundary of Maryland. Had 
that State succeeded in establishing its claim and extending its jurisdiction, 
the following territory would have been transferred to Maryland: Part of 
Highland County, Virginia; portions of Randelph, Tucker, Preston, Pen- 
dleton, Hardy, Grant, Hampshire and all of Mineral Counties, West Vir- 


ginia. The claim of Maryland was resisted, and Governor Floyd, of Vir- 
ginia, appointed Charles J. Faulkner, of Martinsburg, to investigate the 
whole matter, and ascertain, if possible, which was the main Potomac, and 
to consult all available early authorities on the subject. Mr. Faulkner tiled 
his report November 6, 1832, and in this report he showed that the South 
Branch was not the main Potomac, and that the line as fixed by Lord Fair- 
fax's surveyors remained the true and proper boundary between Virginia 
and Maryland. The line due north from the Fairfax Stone to the Pennsyl- 
vania line remains the boundary in that quarter between West Virginia and 
Maryland, but the latter State is still disputing it. 

When West Virginia separated from Virginia and took steps to set up 
a government for itself, it was at one time proposed to call the State 
Kanawha; and its eastern boundary was indicated so as to exclude some of 
the best counties now in the State. The counties to be excluded were 
Mercer, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas, Pendleton, Hardy, then including 
Grant; Hampshire, then including Mineral; Morgan, Berkeley and Jeffer- 
son. It was provided that any adjoining county of Virginia on the east 
might become a part of the State of West Virginia whenever a majority of 
the people of the county expressed a willingness to enter the new State. 
But, before the State was admitted the boundary line was changed and was 
fixed as it now is found. 

As is well known, the territory which now forms West Virginia was a 
portion of Virginia from the first exploration of the country until separated 
from the State during the Civil War, in 1863. For a quarter of a century 
after the first settlement was planted in Virginia there were no counties; 
but as the country began to be explored, and when the original settlement 
at Jamestown grew, and others were made, it was deemed expedient to 
divide the State into counties, although the entire population at that time 
was scarcely enough for one respectable county. Accordingly, Virginia 
was divided into eight counties in 1634. The western limits were not 
clearly defined, except that Virginia claimed the land from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, and it was no doubt intended that the counties on the west 
should embrace all her territory in that direction. The country beyond the 
Blue Ridere was unexplored, and only the vaguest ideas existed concerning 
it. There was a prevailing belief that beyond the Blue Ridge the country 
sloped to the Pacific, and that a river would be found with its source in the 
Blue Ridge and its mouth in that ocean. 

The eastern portion of West Virginia, along the Potomac and its tribu- 
taries in 1735, was no longer an unbroken wilderness, but settlements existed 
in several places. In 1738 it was urged that there were people enough in 
the territory to warrant the formation of a new county. Accordingly, that 
portion of Orange west of the Blue Ridge was formed into two counties, 
Augusta and Frederick. Thus Orange County no longer embraced any 
portion of the territory now in this State. Frederick County embraced the 
lower, or northern part of the Shenandoah Valley, with Winchester as the 
county seat, and Augusta the Southern, or Upper Valley, with Staunton as 
the seat of justice. Augusta then included almost all of West Virginia and 
extended to the Mississippi River, including Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, 
Indiana and Illinois. From its territory all the counties of West Virginia, 
except Jefferson, Berkeley and part of Morgan, have been formed, and its 
subdivision into counties will be the subject of this chapter. No part of 
West Virginia retains the name of Augusta, but the county still exists in 



Virginia, part of the original county of that name, and its county seat is the 
same as at first — Staunton. 

In 1769 Botetourt county was formed from Augusta and included the 
territory now embraced in McDowell, Wyoming, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh 
and portions of Greenbrier, Boone and Logan. No county in West Vir- 
ginia now has the name Botetourt. It is thus seen that no one of the first 
counties in the territory of West Virginia retains any name in it. Essex, 
Spotsylvania, Orange, Augusta and Botetourt, each in its turn, embraced 
large parts of the State, but all the territory remaining under the original 
names is found in old Virginia, where the names are preserved. The Dis- 
trict of West Augusta was a peculiar division of West Virginia's present 


territory. It was not a county. Its boundary lines as laid down in the Act 
of Assembly in 1776, failed to meet — that is, one side of the District was 
open and without a boundary. Yet counties were formed from West 
Augusta as if it were a county and subject to division. From it Monongalia 
was taken, yet part of Monongalia was never in the District of West 
Augusta. The confusion was due to the ignorance of the geography of the 
region at that time. The boundary lines, from a mathematical standpoint, 
enclosed nothing, or, at any rate, it is uncertain what they enclosed. The 
act of 1776, declaring the line between Augusta County and the District of 
West Augusta reads as follows: 

"Beginning on the Alleghany Mountain between the heads of the Potomac, Cheat 
and Greenbrier Kivers, thence along the ridge of mountains which divides the waters of 


Cheat from those of Greenbrier, and that branch of the Monongahela called Tygart's 
Valley River to the Monongahela River, thence up the said river and the west fork 
thereof to Bingeman's Creek, on the northwest side of the said west fork, thence up the 
said creek to the head thereof, thence in a direct course to the head of the Middle Island 
Creek, a branch of the Ohio, including all the waters of said creek in the aforesaid Dis- 
trict of West Augusta. All that territory lying to the northward of the aforesaid boun- 
dary, and to the westward of the states of Pennsylvania and Maryland, shall be deemed, 
and is hereby declared to be in the District of West Augusta." 

The territory so laid off would include of the present counties of West 
Virginia a narrow strip through the center of Randolph, east of Cheat 
Mountain, one fourth of Tucker, the western half of Preston, nearly all of 
Marion, and Monongalia, Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke and Hancock, part of 
Tyler and Pleasants, a small corner of Doddridge, and an indefinite part of 
the present State of Pennsylvania. The eastern parts of Tucker, Ran- 
dolph and Preston, outside the boundaries of West Augusta, were subse- 
quently included in Monongalia County, under the apparent presumption 
that they had belonged to West Augusta. 

Following is a list of the counties of West Virginia, with the date of 
formation, area and from whom named: 

Hampshire, 630 square miles; formed 1754 from Augusta; named for 
Hampshire, England; settled about 1730. 

Berkeley, 320 square miles; formed 1772 from Frederick; named for 
Governor Berkeley, of Virginia; settled about 1730. 

Monongalia, 360 square miles; formed 1776 from West Augusta; 
named for the river; settled 1758. 

Ohio, 120 miles; formed 1776 from West Augusta; settled 1770; named 
for the river. 

Greenbrier, 1000 miles; formed 1-777 from Botetourt; settled 1750; 
named for briers growing on the river bank. 

Harrison, 450 miles; formed 1784 from Monongalia; settled 1770; 
named for Benjamin Harrison, Governor of Virginia. 

Hardy, 700 miles; formed from Hampshire 1785; settled 1740; named 
for Samuel Hardy, of Virginia. 

Randolph, 1080 miles; formed 1786 from Harrison; settled 1753; named 
for Edmund Randolph. 

Pendleton, 650 miles; formed 1787 from Augusta, Hardy and Rocking- 
ham; settled 1750; named for Edmund Pendleton. 

Kanawha, 980 miles; formed 1789 from Greenbrier and Montgomery; 
settled 1774; named for the river. 

Brooke, 80 miles; formed from Ohio 1796; settled about 1772; named 
for Robert Brooke, Governor of Virginia. 

Wood, 375 miles; formed from Harrison 1798; settled about 1773 
named for James Wood, Governor of Virginia. 

Monroe, 460" miles; formed 1799 from Greenbrier; settled about 1760 
named for James Monroe. 

Jefferson, 250 miles; formed 1801 from Berkeley; settled about 1730 
named for Thomas Jefferson. 

Mason, 430 miles; formed 1804 from Kanawha; settled about 1774 
named fd*r George Mason, of Virginia. 

Cabell, 300 miles; formed from Kanawha 1809; settled about 1790 
named for William H. Cabell, Governor of Virginia. 

Tyler, 300 miles; formed from Ohio 1814; settled about 1776; named 
for John Tyler. 


Lewis, 400 miles; formed from Harrison 1816; settled about 1780; 
named for Colonel Charles Lewis. 

Nicholas, 720 miles; formed 1818 from Kanawha, Greenbrier and 
Randolph; named for W. C. Nicholas, Goveraor of Virginia. 

Preston, 650 miles; formed 1818 from Monongalia; settled about 1760; 
named for James P. Preston, Governor of Virginia. 

Morgan, 300 miles; formed 1820 from Hampshire and Berkeley; 
settled about 1730; named for Daniel Morgan. 

Pocahontas, 820 miles; formed 1821 from Bath, Pendleton and Ran- 
dolph; settled 1749; named for Pocahontas, an Indian girl. 

Logan, 400 miles, formed from Kanawha, Giles, Cabell and Tazwell, 
1824; named for Logan, an Indian. 

Jackson, 400 miles; formed 1831 from Kanawha, Wood and Mason; 
settled about 1796; named for Andrew Jackson. 

Payette, 750 miles; formed from Logan, Kanawha, Greenbrier and 
Nicholas 1831; named for Lafayette. 

Marshall, 240 miles; formed 1835 from Ohio; settled about 1769; 
named for Chief Justice Marshall. 

Braxton, 620 miles; formed 1836 from Kanawha, Lewis and Nicholas; 
settled about 1794; named for Carter Braxton. 

Mercer, 400 miles; formed 1837 from Giles and Tazwell; named for 
General Hugh Mercer. 

Marion, 300 miles; formed 1842 from Harrison and Monongalia; 
named for General Marion. 

Wayne, 440 miles; formed 1841 from Cabell; named for General 
Anthony Wayne. 

Taylor, 150 miles; formed 1844 from Harrison, Barbour and Marion; 
named for John Taylor. 

Doddridge, 300 miles; formed 1845 from Harrison, Tyler, Ritchie and 
Lewis; named for PhilijD Doddridge. 

Gilmer, 360 miles; formed 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis; named for 
Thomas W. Gilmer of Virginia. 

Wetzel, 440 miles; formed 1846 from Tyler; named for Lewis Wetzel. 

Boone, 500 miles; formed 1847 from Kanawha, Cabell and Logan; 
named for Daniel Boone. 

Putnam, 320 miles; formed 1848 from Kanawha, Cabell and Mason; 
named for Israel Putnam. 

Barbour, 360 miles; formed 1843 from Harrison, Lewis and Randolph; 
named for James Barbour, governor of Virginia. 

Ritchie, 400 miles; formed 1844 from Harrison, Lewis and Wood; 
named for Thomas Ritchie of Virginia. 

Wirt, 290 miles; formed 1848 from Wood and Jackson; settled about 
1796; named for William Wirt. 

Hancock, 100 miles; formed 1848 from Brooke; settled about 1776; 
named for John Hancock. 

Raleigh, 680 miles; formed 1850 from Payette; named for Sir Walter 

Wyoming, 660 miles; formed 1850 from Logan; an Indian name. 

Pleasants, 150 miles; formed 1851 from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie; 
named for James Pleasants, governor of Virginia. 

Upshur, 350 miles; formed 1851 from Randolph, Barbour and Lewis; 
settled about 1767; named for Judge A. P. Upshur. 


Calhoun, 260 miles; formed 1856 from Gilmer; named for J. C. Cal- 

Roane, 350 miles; formed 1856 from Kanawha, Jackson and Gilmer; 
settled about 1791; named for Judge Roane of Virginia. 

Tucker, 340 miles; formed 1856 from Randolph; settled about 1774; 
named for Judge St. George Tucker. 

Clay, 390 miles; formed 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas; named for 
Henry Clay. 

McDowell, 860 miles; formed 1858 from Tazwell; named for James 
McDowell, governor of Virginia. 

Webster, 450 miles; formed 1860 from Randolph, Nicholas and Brax- 
ton; named for Daniel Webster. 

Mineral, 300 miles; formed 1866 from Hampshire; named for its coal. 

Grant, 620 miles; formed 1866 from Hardy; named for General U. S. 
Grant; settled about 1740. 

Lincoln, 460 miles; formed 1867 from Kanawha, Cabell, Boone and 
Putnam; settled about 1799; named for Abraham Lincoln. 

Summers, 400 miles; formed 1871 from Monroe, Mercer, Greenbrier 
and Fayette; named for Lewis and George W. Summers. 

Mingo, about 400 miles; formed 1895 from Logan; named for Logan 
the Mingo. 






















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Ohio. ..:... 




























Morgan . . . .- 





































































Newspaper history commenced in the territory now forming West Vir- 
ginia nearly one hundred years ago; that is, in 1803. The beginning was 
small, but ambitious; and although the first journal to make its appearance 
in the State, ceased to pay its visits to the pioneers generations ago; yet, 
from that small beginning has grown a press which will rank with that of 
any State in the Union, if population and other conditions are taken into 
account. West Virginia has no large city, and consequently has no paper 
of metropolitan pretensions, but its press fulfills every requirement of its 
people; faithfully represents every business interest; maintains every hon- 
orable political principle; upholds morality; encourages education, and has 
its strength in the good will of the people. This chapter can do little more 
than present an outline of the growth of journalism in this State, together 
with facts and figures relating to the subject. 

The first paper published in West Virginia was the Monongalia Gazette, 
at Morgantown in 1803. The Farmer's Register, printed at Charlestown, 
Jefferson County, was the next. These were the only papers in the State 
in 1810. The oldest paper still being published in West Virginia is the 
Virginia Free Press, printed at Charlestown. It was founded in 1821. The 
Monongalia Gazette was perhaps an up-to-date journal in its day; but it 
would be unsatisfactory at the present time. It was in four page form, 
each page sixteen inches long and ten inches wide. There were four col- 
umns to the page. Its editors were Camjabell and Briton; its subscription 
rate was six cents a copy, or two dollars a year. It was impossible that a 
weekly paper so small could efficiently cover the news, even though the 
news of that day was far below the standard set for the present time. Yet, 
had such a paper been edited in accordance with modern ideas, it could 
have exerted a much wider influence than it did exert. No other paper was 
near enough to make inroads upon its field of circulation and influence; and 
it might have had the whole region to itself. But it did not expand, as might 
have been expected; on the contrary, within three years it reduced its size 
about one-half. More space in it was given to foreign news than to the 
happenings of County, State and Nation. Before the days of railroads, 
steamboats and telegraphing, it may readily be understood that the events 
recorded from foreign countries were so stale at the date of their publica- 
tion in the backwoods paper that they almost deserved classification as 
ancient history. The domestic news, particularly that relating to distant 
states, was usually several weeks old before it found place in the Gazette. 
County occurrences, and happenings in the neighboring counties, were 


given little attention. Many a valuable scrap of local history might have 
been permanently preserved in that pioneer journal; -but the county his- 
torian looks through the crumpled and yellow files in vain. But, on the 
other hand, he encounters numerous mentions of Napoleon's movements; 
the Emperor of Russia's undertakings, and England's achievements; all of 
which would have been valuable as history were it not that Guizot, Ram- 
baud and Knight have given us the same things in better style; so that it is 
labor thrown away to search for them in the circumscribed columns of a 
pioneer paper printed on the forest-covered banks of the Monongahela. 
Joseph Campbell, one of the editors and proprietors of the Gazette, had 
learned the printing trade in Philadelphia. It is not known at what date 
the paper suspended publication. It was customary in early times, as well 
as at the present day, to incorporate two or more papers into one, drop the 
name of one and continue the publication. The Gazette may thus have 
passed quietly out of its individual existence. 

Monongalia County fostered the first newspaper west of the Allegha- 
nies in the State, and it also has had perhaps as many papers as any county 
of West Virginia. The full list, from the first till the present time, num- 
bers between thirty and forty. The list compiled by Samuel T. Wiley, the 
historian of Monongalia, shows that the County had thirty-one papers prior 
to 1880. Nearly all of these suspended after brief careers. It would be 
difficult to compile a list of all the papers established in this State from the 
earliest times till the present. It would perhaps be impossible to do so, for 
some of them died in their infancy, and a copy cannot now be found. 
There were, no doubt, many whose very names are not now remembered. 
It would not be an extravagant estimate to place the total number of papers 
published in this State, both those still in existence and those which are 
dead, at five hundred. It would be a surprise to many persons to learn 
how ephemeral is the average newspaper. It comes and goes. It has its 
beginning, its prosperity, its adversity, its death. Another follows in its 
path. Pew can be called relatively permanent. There are now "more than 
one hundred newspapers published in West Virginia. Only nine of these 
were in existence in 1863, when the State was admitted into the Union. 
These nine are the Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling Register, Clarksburg 
Telegram, Charlestown Free Press, Charlestown Spirit of Jefferson, 
Shepherdstown Register, Barbour County Jeffersonian, Wellsburg Herald 
and Point Pleasant Register. Of the papers in existence in this State in 
1870 only sixteen have come down to the present day. The cause of the 
early death of so many papers which begin life in such earnest hope is that 
the field is full. Two newspapers try to exist where there is room for only 
one. It does not require an evolutionist to foretell the result. Both must 
starve or one must quit. If one quits there is always another anxious to 
push in and try its luck. 

West Virginia's experience does not differ from experience elsewhere. 
Journalism in country towns is much the same the country over. In cities 
the business is more stable, because conducted on business principles. 
Men with experience and business training accustom themselves to look 
before they leap. The inexperienced man who is ambitious to crowd some 
one else out of the newspaper business in the interior towns is too prone to 
leap first and do his looking afterwards. There is no scarcity of good news- 
paper men outside the cities, and West Virginia has its share, but at the 
same time there are too many persons who feel themselves called 


upon to enter the arena, although unprepared for the fray, and who can- 
not hold their own in competition with men of training in the profession. 
To the efforts and failures of these latter persons is due the ephemeral 
character of the lives of newspapers, taken as a whole. Country journal- 
ism comes to be looked upon as a changing, evanescent, uncertain thing, 
always respectable; only moderately and occasionally successful; inaugura- 
ted in hope; full of promise as the rainbow is full of gold; sometimes mate- 
rializing into things excellent; now and then falling like Lucifer, but always 
to hope again. There is something sublime in the rural journalist's faith 
in his ability to push forward. Though failures have been many, country 
journalism has builded greater than it knew. West Virginia's development 
and the rural press have gone hand in hand. Every railroad pushing into 
the wilderness has carried the civilizing editor and his outfit. He goes with 
an unfaltering belief in printer's ink and confidence in its conquering power. 
He is ready to do and suffer all things. The mining town and the latest 
county seat; the lumber center and the oil belt; the manufacturing village 
and the railroad terminus; these are the fields in which he casts his lot. 
Here he sets up his press; he issues his paper; he booms the town; he 
records the births, marriages and deaths with a monotonous faithfulness; 
he expresses his opinion freely and generously. In return he expects the 
town and the surrounding country to support his enterprise as liberally as 
he has given his time, talent and energy in advancing the interests of the 
town. Sometimes his expectations are realized; sometimes not. If not, 
perhaps he packs his worldly assets and sets out for another town, richer 
in experience but poorer in cash. There are men in West Virginia who 
have founded a number of newspapers, usually selling out after a year or 
two in order to found another journal. 

This is the class of editors who blaze the way into the woods. They 
bear the same relation to the journalism which follows as the "tomahawk 
right" bore in early days to the plantations and estates which succeeded 
them. After the adventurous and restless journalist has passed on, then 
comes the newspaper man who calculates before he invests. He does not 
come in a hurry. He is not afraid some one will get ahead of him. He does 
not locate before he has carefully surveyed the field, and has satisfied him- 
self that the town and the surrounding country are able to support such a 
journal as he proposes establishing. His aim is to merit and receive the 
patronage of the people. This becomes the solid, substantial paper, and 
its editor wields a permanent influence for good. Such papers and such 
editors are found all over West Virginia. 

Journalism among businesses is like poetry among the fine arts — the 
most easily dabbled in but the most difficult to succeed in. It may not ap- 
pear to the casual observer that the newspaper business is nearly always 
unsuccessful, or at least, that nearly all the papers which come into exist- 
ence meet untimely death in the very blossom of their youth. An examina- 
tion of the history of newspapers in nearly any town a half century old will 
show that ten have failed where one has succeeded. The history of journal- 
ism in Monongalia County, already alluded to, differs little from the history 
of the papers in any county of equal age and population. 

In 1851, when Horace Greeley was asked by a Parliamentary Commit- 
tee from England "at what amount of population of a town in America do 
they first begin the publication of a weekly newspaper?" he replied that 
every county will have one, and a county of twenty thousand population 


usually has two weekly papers; and when a town has fifteen thousand peo- 
ple it usually has a daily paper. This rule does not state the case in West 
Virginia today. The average would probably show one newspaper for each 
six thousand people. In the small counties the average is sometimes as 
low as one paper to two thousand people, and not one-fourth of these peo- 
ple subscribe for a paper. It is not difficult to see that the field can be easily 
over-supplied; and among newspapers there must be a survival of the fittest. 

The early journals published in this State, as well as those published 
elsewhere at that time, say seventy or eighty years ago, were very differ- 
ent in appearance from those of today. The paper on which the printing 
was done was rough, rugged and discolored, harsh to the touch, and of a 
quality inferior to wrapping paper of the present time. Some of them ad- 
vertised that they would take clean rags at four cents a pound in payment 
of subscriptions. At that time paper was made from rags. It is now mostly 
made from wood. The publishers no doubt shipped the rags to the paper 
mills and received credit on their paper accounts. Some of these early 
journals clung to the old style of punctuation and capitalization; and some, 
to judge by their appearance, followed no style at all, but were as out- 
landish as possible, particularly in the use of cajfital letters. They capital- 
ized all nouns, and as many other words as they could, being limited, ap- 
parently, only by the number of capital letters in their type cases. 

As late as 1835 all the printing presses in the United States were run 
by hand power. On the earliest press the pressure necessary was obtained 
by means of a screw. Fifty papers an hour was fast work. The substitu- 
tion of the lever for the screw increased the capacity of the press five fold. 
This arrangement reached its greatest develojmient in the Washington 
Hand Press, patented in 1829 by Samuel Rust. This press is still the stand- 
by in many small offices. The printing done with it is usually good; but 
the speed is slow, and two hundred and fifty impressions an hour is a high 
average. Printers call this press "The Man-Killer," because its operation 
requires so much physical exertion. 

The early newspapers in backwoods towns attempted to pull neck and 
neck with the city journals. They tried to give the news from all over the 
world; and the result was, they let the home news go. They were long in 
learning that a small paper's field should be small, and that the readers of 
a local paper expect that paper to contain the local news. Persons who 
desired national and foreign news subscribed for metropolitan papers. This 
was the case years ago the same as now. In course of time the lesson was 
learned; the local papers betook themselves to their own particular fields, 
with the result that the home paper has become a power at home. The 
growth of journalism has a tendency to restrict the influence of individual 
great papers to smaller and smaller geographical limits. All round the 
outer borders of their areas of circulation other papers are taking posses- 
sion of their territory and limiting them. No daily paper now has a gen- 
eral and large circulation farther away from the place of publication than 
can be reached in a few hours. This is not so much the case with small 
papers. When once firmly established they can hold their small circulation 
and local influence much more securely than large circulation and large in- 
fluence can be held by metropolitan papers. The trouble with the country 
papers is that the most of them die before they can establish themselves. 

Some of the earliest statesmen feared danger from what they termed a 
newspaper aristocracy, formed by the concentration of the influence of the 


press about a comparatively few journals advantageously located in com- 
mercial centers. This danger is feared no more. The power of the press 
has been infinitesimally divided; among the metropolitan papers first; then 
among those in thersmaller cities; lastly, among those in the smaller towns, 
until all fear of concentration is a thing of the past. The fundamental law 
of evolution, which rules the influence of the press as it rules the destinies 
of nations, or the growth and decline of commerce and political power, ren- 
ders it impossible that any aggregate of newspapers, acting in concert, can 
long wield undisputed influence over wide areas. They must divide into 
smaller aggregate, and subdivide again, each smaller aggregate exercising 
its peculiar power in its own appropriated sphere and not trespassing 
upon the domains of others. The lowest subdivision is the country paper; 
and so secure is it from the inroads of the city journals that it can hold 
its ground as securely as the metropolitan journal can hold its field against 
the paper of the interior. 




In this chapter will be presented facts concerning West Virginia's 
geography, climate, soil and geology. Its geography relates to the surface 
of the State as it exists now; its geology takes into account not only the 
present surface, but all changes which have affected the surface in the past, 
together with as much of the interior as may be known and understood. 
The climate, like geography, deals chiefly with present conditions; but the 
records of geology sometimes give us glimpses of climates which prevailed 
ages ago. The soil of a State, if properly studied, is found to depend upon 
geography, geology and climatology. The limits prescribed for this 
chapter render impossible any extended treatise; an outline must suffice. 

Reference to the question of geology naturally comes first, as it is older 
than our present geography or climate. We are told that there was a time 
when the heat of the earth was so great that all substances within it or 
upon its surface were in a molten state. It was a white-hot globe made of 
all the inorganic substances with which we are acquainted. The iron, sil- 
ver, gold, rock, and all else were liquid. The earth was then larger than 
it is now, and the days and nights were longer. After ages of great length 
had passed the surface cooled and a crust or shell was formed on the still 
very hot globe. This was the first appearance of ' ' rock, " as we understand 
the word now. The surface of the earth was no doubt very rough, but with- 
out high mountains. The crust was not thick enough to support high 
mountains, and all underneath of it was still melted. Probably for thous- 
ands of years after the first solid crust made its appearance there was no rain, 
although the air was more filled with moisture then than now. The rocks 
were so hot that a drop of water, upon touching them, was instantly turned 
to steam. But they gradually cooled, and rains fell. Up to this point in 
the earth's history we are guided solely by inductions from the teachings 
of astronomy, assisted to some extent by well-known facts of chemistry. 
Any description of our world at that time must be speculative, and as ap- 
plicable to one part as to another. No human eye ever saw and recognized 
as such one square foot of the original crust of the earth in the form in 
which it cooled from the molten state. Rains, winds, frosts and fire have 
broken up and worn away some parts, and with the sand and sediment thus 
formed, buried the other parts. But that it was exceedingly hot is not 
doubted; and there is not wanting evidence that only the outer crust has 
yet reached a tolerable degree of coolness, while all the interior surpasses 
the most intense furnace heat. Upheavals and depressions affecting large 
areas, so often met with in the study of geology, are supposed to be due to 


the settling down of the solid crust in one place and the consequent up- 
heaval in another. Could a railroad train run thirty minutes, at an ordi- 
nary speed, toward the center of the earth, it would probably reach a tem- 
perature that would melt iron. And it may be stated, parenthetically, could 
the same train run at the same speed for the same time away from the cen- 
ter of the earth, it would reach a temperature so cold that the hottest day 
would show a thermometer one hundred degrees below zero. So narrow is 
the sphere of our existence — below us is fire; above us "the measureless 
cold of space." 

When we look out upon our quiet valleys, the Kanawha, the Potomac, 
the Monongahela, or contemplate our mountains, rugged and near, or robed 
in distant blue, rising and rolling, range beyond range, peak above peak; 
cliffs overhanging gorges and ravines; meadows, uplands, glades beyond; 
with brooks and rivers; the landscape fringed with flowers or clothed with 
forests, we are too apt to pause before fancy has had time to call up that 
strange and wonderful panorama of distant ages when the waves of the sea 
swept over all, or when only broken and angular rocks thrust their should- 
ers through the foam of the ocean as it broke against the nearly submerged 
ledges where since have risen the highest peaks of the Alleghanies and the 
Blue Ridge. Here where we now live have been strange scenes. Here 
have been beauty, awfulness and sublimity, and also destruction. There 
was a long age with no winter. Gigantic ferns and rare palms, enormous 
in size, and with delicate leaves and tendrils, flourished over wide areas and 
vanished. And there was a time when for ages there was no summer. But 
we know of this age of cold from records elsewhere, for its record in West 
Virginia has been blotted out. Landscapes have disappeared. Fertile val- 
leys and undulating hills, with soil deep and fruitful, have been washed 
away, leaving only a rocky skeleton, and in many places even this has been 
ground to powder and carried away or buried under sands and drift from 
other regions. 

An outline of some of the changes which have affected the little spot in 
the earth's surface now occupied by West Virginia will be presented, not 
by any means complete, but sufficient to convey an idea of the agencies 
which enter into the workings of geology. It is intended for the young 
into whose hands this book will come, not for those whose maturer years 
and greater opportunities have already made them acquainted with this 
sublime chapter in the book of creation. 

When the crust of the earth had cooled sufficiently rains washed down 
the higher portions, and the sands and sediment thus collected were spread 
over the lower parts. This sand, when it had become hardened, formed 
the first layers of rock, called strata. Some of these very ancient forma- 
tions exist yet and have been seen, but whether they are the oldest of the 
layer rocks no man knows. Some of the ancient layers of great thickness, 
after being deposited at the sea bottoms, were heated from the interior of 
the earth and were melted. In these cases the stratified appearance has 
usually disappeared, and they are called metamorphic rocks. Some geolo- 
gists regard most granite as a rock of this kind. 

As the earth cooled more and more it shrank in size, and the surface 
was shriveled and wrinkled in folds, large and small. The larger of these 
wrinkles were mountains. Seas occupied the low places, and the first 
brooks and rivers began to appear, threading their way wherever the best 
channels could be found. Rains, probably frost also, attacked the higher 


ridges and rocky slopes, almost destitute of soil, and the washings were 
carried to the seas, forming other layers of rocks on the bottoms, and thus 
the accumulation went on, varying in rate at times, but never changing the 
general plan of rock-building from that day to the present. All rock, or 
very nearly all, in West Virginia were formed at the bottom of the ocean, 
of sand, mud and gravel, or of shells, or a mixture of all, the ingredients of 
which were cemented together with silica, iron, lime, or other mineral sub- 
stance held in solution in water. They have been raised up from the water, 
and now form dry land, and have been cut and carved into valleys, ridges, 
gorges and the various inequalities seen within our State. These rocks are 
sometimes visible, forming cliffs and the bottoms and banks of streams and 
the tops of peaks and barren mountains; but for the greater part of West 
Virginia the underlying rocks are hidden by soil. This soil, however, at 
the deepest, is only a few feet thick, and were it all swept off we siiould 
have visible all over the State a vast and complicated system of ledges and 
bowlders, carved and cut to conform to every height and depression now 
marking the surface. The aggregate thickness of these layers, as they 
have been seen and measured in this State, is no less than four miles. In 
other words, sand and shells four miles deep (and perhaps more) were in 
past time spread out on the bottom of a sea which then covered West Vir- 
ginia, and after being hardened into rock, were raised up and then cut into 
valleys and other inequalities as we see them today. The rockbuilding was 
not all done during one uninterrupted period, nor was there only one up- 
heaval. West Virginia, or a portion of it, has been several times under and 
above the sea. The coast line has swep! back and forth across it again and 
again. We read this history from the rocks themselves. The skilled geol- 
ogist can determine, from an examination of the fossil shells and plants in 
a stratum, the period of the earth's history when the stratum was formed. 
He can determine the old and the youngest in a series of strata. Yet, not 
from fossils alone may this be determined. The position of the layers with 
regard to one another is often a sure guide in discovering the oldest and 
youngest. The sands having been spread out in layers, one above the 
other, it follows that those on top are not so old as those below, except in 
cases, unusual in this State, where strata have been folded so sharply that 
they have been broken and turned over. Thus the older rocks may lie 
above the newer. 

Unmeasured as are the ages recorded in the mountains and cliffs of 
West Virginia, yet the most ancient of our ledges are young in comparison 
with those of other parts of the world, or even of neighboring provinces. 
North of us is a series of rocks, the Laurentian of Canada, more than five 
miles thick, formed, like ours, of the slow accumulation of sand. Yet that 
series was finished and was probably partly worn away before the first 
grain of sand or the first shell, of which we have any record, found a rest- 
ing place on the bottom of the Cambrian sea, which covered West Virginia. 
If the inconceivable lapse of years required for accumulating shell and sand 
four miles deep in the sea bottom, where we now live, amazes us, what must 
we say of that vaster period reaching back into the cycles of the infant 
world,- all of which were past and gone before the foundations of our moun- 
tains were laid! Nor have we reached the beginning yet. No man knows 
whether the Laurentian rocks are oldest of the layers, and if they are, still 
back of them stretches that dim and nebulous time, unrecorded, uncharted, 
penetrated only by the light of astronomy, when the unstratified rocks were 


taking form, from whose disintegrated material all subsequent formations 
have been built. 

Let us begin with the Cambrian age, as geologists call it. Within the 
limits of our State we have little, if any, record of anything older. Were a 
map made of eastern United States during that early period it would show 
a mass of land west of us, covering the Middle States, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois and beyond. Another mass of land would lie east of us, occupying 
the Atlantic Coastal Plain, from New England to South Carolina, and 
extending to an unknown distance eastward, where the Atlantic Ocean now 
is. Between these two bodies of land spread a narrow arm of the sea, from 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Alabama. West Virginia was at the bottom of 
that sea, whose eastern coast line is believed to have occupied nearly the 
position, and to have followed the general direction, of what is now the 
Blue Ridge. Sand washed from this land east of us was spread upon the 
bottom of the sea and now forms the lowest layers of rocks met with in 
West Virginia, the foundations of our mountains. But this rock is so deep 
that it is seen only in a few places where it has been brought up by folds 
of the strata, and where rivers have cut deep. For the most part of the 
State these Cambrian rocks lie buried, under subsequent formations, thous- 
ands of feet deep. 

There were mountains of considerable magnitude in that land east of 
the sea. The country west of the sea must have been low. During the 
immense time, before the next great change, the eastern mountains were 
worn down and carried, as sand and mud, into the sea. The Silurian age 
followed, and as it drew near, the region began to sink. The sea which had 
covered the greater part of West Virginia, or at least the eastern part of it, 
began to overflow the country both east and west. The waters spread 
westward beyond the present Mississippi. The land to the eastward had 
become low and not much sediment was now coming from that direction. 
The washings from the rounded hills were probably accumulating as a deep 
soil in the low plains and widening valleys. Over a large part of West Vir- 
ginia, during the Silurian age, thick beds of limestone were formed of 
shells, mixed with more or less sediment. Shell-fish lived and died in the 
ocean, and when dead their skeletons sank to the bottom. It is thus seen 
that the origin of limestone differs from that of sandstone in this, that the 
former is a product of water, while the material for sandstone is washed 
into water from land. 

The character of rocks usually tells how far from land they were 
formed, and if sandstone, what kind of country furnished the material. The 
coarsest sandstones were deposited near shore, back of which the country 
was usually high and steep. Pine-grained sandstones, or shales, were 
probably laid down along flat shores, above which the land had little eleva- 
tion. Or they may have been deposited from fine sediment which drifted a 
considerable distance from land. If limestone is pure, it is proof that little 
sediment from the land reached it while being formed. The limestone de- 
posited over a considerable part of West Virginia during the closing of the 
Cambrian and the beginning of the Silurian age forms beds from three 
thousand to four thousand feet thick. During the long period required for 
the accumulation of this mass of shells, the land to the east remained com- 
paratively flat or continued slowly to sink. We know this, because there 
is not much sediment mixed with the limestone, and this would not be the 
case had large quantities been poured into the sea from the land. 


Another great change was at hand. The land area east of us began to 
rise, and the surface became steep. What perhaps had been for a long 
time low, rounding hills, and wide, flat valleys, with a deep accumulation 
of soil, was raised and tilted; and the stronger and more rapid current of 
the streams, and the rush of the rain water down the more abrupt slopes, 
sluiced off the soil into the sea. The beds of limestone were covered two 
thousand feet deep beneath sand and mud, the spoils from a country which 
must have been fertile and productive. The land was worn down. Ages 
on ages passed, and the work of grinding went on; the rains fell; the winds 
blew; the floods came; the frost of winter and the heat of summer followed 
each other through years surpassing record. Near the close of the Silurian 
time the shore of the continent to the east rose and sank. The vertical 
movements were perhaps small; they may have been just enough to sub- 
merge the coastal plain, then raise it above water, repeating the operation 
two or more times. The record of this is in the alternating coarse and fine 
sediments and sand composing the rocks formed during that time. At the 
close of the Silurian period the continent east of us was worn down again 
and had become low. The sea covering West Virginia had been cut off 
from the Gulf of St. Lawrence by an upheaval in the State of New York. 
The uplift of the land seems to have been much greater during this time 
north of us than south. The Devonian age followed, which was a great 
rock-builder in the North. The aggregate thickness of the Devonian rocks 
in Pennsylvania is no less than nine thousand feet. Prom there to south- 
ward it thins out, like a long, slojjing wedge, until it disappears in Ala- 
bama, after thinning to twenty-five feet in southern Tennessee. In some 
parts of West Virginia the Devonian rocks are seven thousand feet thick. 
The sediments of which these strata were made were usually fine-grained, 
forming shales and medium sandstones, with some limestones here and 
there. The long, dreary Devonian age at last drew to a close, and an 
epoch, strange and imperfectly understood, dawned upon the earth. It was 
during this age that the long summer prevailed; the winterless climate over 
the northern hemisphere; the era of wonderful vegetation; the time of plant- 
growth such as was perhaps never on earth before, nor will be again. It 
is known as the Carboniferous age. 

During that period our coal was formed. The rocks deposited on the 
sea bottom in the Carboniferous age range in thickness frem two thousand 
to eight thousand feet in different parts of West Virginia. During this time 
there is evidence of the breaking up and re-distribution of a vast gravel bar 
which had lain somewhere out of reach of the waves since earlier ages. 
This bar, or this aggregation whether a bar or not, was made up of quartz 
pebbles, varying in size from a grain of sand to a cocoanut, all worn and 
polished as if rolled and fretted on a beach or in turbulent mountain 
streams for centuries. By some means the sea obtained possession of them 
and they were spread out in layers, in some places 800 feet thick, and were 
cemented together, forming coarse, hard rocks. We see them along the 
summits of the Alleghanies, and the outlaying spurs and ridges, from the 
southern borders of our State, to the Pennsylvania line, and beyond. The 
formation is called conglomerate; and the popular names are "Bean Rock," 
"Millstone Grit," etc. A heavy stratum of this stone forms the floor of the 
coal measures. The pebbles probably represent the most indestructible 
remnant of mountains, once seamed with quartz veins, but degraded and 
obliterated before the middle of the Carboniferous era, perhaps long before. 


The quartz, on account of its hardness, resisted the grinding process which 
pulverized the adjacent rock, and remained as pebbles, in bars and beds, 
until some great change sv\ ept them into the sea. Their quantity was enor- 
mous. The rocks composed of them now cover thousands of square miles. 

As the Carboniferous age progressed the sea which had covered the 
greater part of West Virginia since Cambrian time, was nearing its last 
days. It had come down from the Cambrian to the Silurian, from the 
Silurian to the Devonian, from the Devonian to the Carboniferous, but it 
came down through the ages no further. Prom that area where the waves 
had rolled for a million years they were about to recede. With the passing 
of the sea, rose the land, which has since been crossed by ranges of the 
Alleghany, Blue Ridge, Laurel Ridge, and all their spurs and hills. Prom 
the middle of the Carboniferous epoch to its close was a period of disturb- 
ance over the whole area under consideration. The bottom of the sea was 
lifted up, became dry land, and sank again. It seemed that a mighty effort 
was being made by the land to throw back the water which had so long held 
dominion. It was a protracted, powerful struggle, in which first the land 
and then the water gained the mastery. Back and forth for hundreds of 
miles swept and receded the sea. Years, centuries, millennials, the 
struggle continued, but finally the land prevailed, was lifted up and the 
waves retreated westward and southward to the Gulf of Mexico, and West 
Virginia was dry land, and it has remained such to this day. 

Beds of coal, unlike layers of rock, are made above water, or at its 
immediate surface. While the oscillation between sea and land was going 
on, during the Carboniferous age, West Virginia's coal fields were being 
formed. Coal is made of wood and plants of various kind, which grew with 
a phenomenal luxuriance during a long period of summer that reigned over 
the northern half of the earth. Each bed of coal represents a swamp, large 
or small, in which plants grew, fell and were buried for centuries. The 
whole country in which coal was forming was probably low and it was 
occasionally submerged for a few thousand years. During the submergence 
sand and mud settled over it and hardened into rock. Then the land was 
lifted up again, and the material for another bed of coal was accumulated. 
Every alternation of coal and rock marks an elevation and subsidence of 
the land — the coal formed on land, the rock under water. This was the 
period when the sea was advancing and receding across West Virginia, as 
the Carboniferous age was drawing to a close. 

Other ages of geology succeeeded the Cai'bonif erous ; but little record 
of them remains in West Virginia. The land here was above the sea; no 
sediment could be deposited to form rocks, and of course there was little on 
which a permanent record could be written. The strata underlying the 
greater part of our State grew thicker and deeper from the Cambrian age 
to the Carboniferous; then the sea receded, and from that time to the pres- 
ent the layers of rock have been undergoing the wear and tear of the ele- 
ments, and the aggregate has been growing thinner. The strata have been 
folded, upraised by subterranean force and cut through by rivers. In some 
places the Carboniferous rocks have not yet been worn away; in other 
places the river gorges have reached the bottom of the Devonian rocks; in 
still other localities the great Silurian layers have been cut through; and 
in a few places the cutting has gone down deep into the Cambrian rocks. 
The Glacial age, the empire of "steadfast, inconceivable cold," which fol- 
lowed the warm period in which coal was formed, did not write its history 


in West Virginia as indelibly as in some other parts of our country. The 
great morains and bowlders so consiDicuous in other localities are not 
found with us. No doubt the cold here was intense; perhaps there were 
glaciers among the high lands; but the evidence has been well-nigh oblit- 

Land seems to have been lifted up in two ways, one a vertical move- 
ment which elevated large areas and formed plateaus, but not mountains; 
the other, a horizontal movement which caused folds in the strata, and 
these folds, if large enough, are ranges of mountains. In West Virginia 
we have both acting in the same area. Independently of the mountains, 
West Virginia has a rounding form, sloping gradually upward from three 
directions. Imagine the mountain ranges sheared off until no irregular 
elevations exist in the State. The resulting figure would show West Vir- 
ginia's surface as it would be presented to us if no strata had been folded to 
make mountain ranges. This is the shape given by the vertical upheaval 
since the Carboniferous age, uninfluenced by the horizontal thrust of strata. 
The figure would show a great swell in the surface, the highest portion at 
the interlocking sources of the Greenbrier, the Elk, the Potomac, the east 
fork of the Monongahela, and Cheat. Prom that highest point the surface 
slopes in every direction, as shown by the course of the rivers. There is a 
long, curved arm of the plateau, thrust out toward the southwest, reaching 
around through Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe and McDowell Counties, 
and overlapping into the State of Virginia. The New River, from the 
highlands of North Carolina, cuts through this plateau to join the Kanawha 
on the western side. The highest part of this rounded area is perhaps 
three thousand feet above sea level, not counting the mountains which 
stand upon the plateau, for, in order to make the matter plain, we have 
supposed all the mountains sheared off level with the surface of the plateau. 

Having now rendered it clear that portions of West Virginia would be 
high if there were not a mountain in the State, let us proceed to consider 
how the mountains were formed and why nearly all the highest summits 
are clustered in three or four counties. We have already observed that 
ranges of mountains, such as ours, were formed by the folding of layers of 
rocks. This is ajiparent to any one who has seen one of our mountains cut 
through from top to bottom, such as the New Creek Mountain at Green- 
land Gap, in Grant County. Place several layers of thick cloth on a table, 
push the ends toward each other. The middle of the cloth will rise in 
folds. In like manner were our mountains formed. The layers of rock 
were pushed horizontally, one force acting from the southeast, the other 
from the northwest. Rivers and rains have carved and cut them, changing 
their original features somewhat; but their chief characteristics remain. 
The first upheaval, which was vertical, raised the West Virginia plateau, as 
we believe; the next upheaval, which was caused by horizontal thrust, 
folded the layers of rocks and made mountain ranges. Prom this view it is 
not difficult to account for so many high peaks in one small area. The 
mountain ranges cross the plateau, running up one slope, across the sum- 
mit, and down the opposite slope. These ranges are from one thousand to 
nearly two thousand feet high, measuring from the general level of the 
country on which they stand. But that general level is itself, in the 
highest part about three thousand feet above the sea. So a mountain, in 
itself one thousand feet in elevation, may stand upon a plateau three times 
that high, and thus its summit will be four thousand feet above the sea. 


The highest peaks in the State are where the ranges of mountains cross the 
highest part of the plateau. There are many other mountains in the State 
which, when measured from base to summit, are as high as those just men- 
tioned, but they do not have the advantage of resting their bases on ground 
so elevated, consequently their summits are not so far above sea level. To 
express it briefly, by a homely comparison, a five-foot man on three-foot 
stilts is higher than a six-foot man on the ground; a one thousand-foot moun- 
tain on a three thousand-foot plateau is higher than a two thousand-foot 
mountain near the sea level. 

Exact measurements showing the elevation of West Virginia in various 
parts of its area, when studied in connection with a map of the State, show 
clearly that the area rises in altitude from all sides, culminating- in the nest 
of peaks clustered around the sources of the Potomac, the Kanawha and 
Monongahela. The highest point in the State is Spruce Mountain, in Pen- 
dleton County, 4,860 feet above sea level; the lowest point is the bed of the 
Potomac at Harper's Perry, 260 feet above the sea; the vertical range is 
4,600 feet. The Ohio, at the mouth of Big Sandy, on the boundary between 
West Virginia and Kentucky, is 500 feet; the mouth of Cheat, at the Penn- 
sylvania line, is 775. The general level of Pocahontas County is about 
3,000 above the sea. The bed of Greenbrier River where it enters Poca- 
hontas is 3,300 feet in elevation. Where Shaver's Pork of Cheat River 
leaves Pocahontas its bed is 3,700 feet. A few of the highest peaks in Po- 
cahontas, Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker Counties are: Spruce Knob, 
Pendleton County, 4,860 feet above sea level; Bald Knob, Pocahontas 
County, 4,800; Spruce Knob, Pocahontas County, 4,730; High Knob, Ran- 
dolph County, 4,710; Mace Knob, Pocahontas County, 4,700; Barton Knob, 
Randolph County, 4,600; Bear Mountain, Pocahontas County, 4,600; Elleber 
Ridge, Pocahontas County, 4,600; Watering Pond Knob, Pocahontas Coun- 
ty, 4,600; Panther Knob, Pendleton County, 4,500; Weiss Knob, Tucker 
County, 4,490; Green Knob, Randolph County, 4,485; Brier Patch Moun- 
tain, Randolph County, 4,480; Yokum's Knob, Randolph County, 4,330; 
Pointy Knob, Tucker County, 4,286; Hutton's Knob, Randolph County, 

We do not know whether the vertical upheaval which raised the 
plateau, or the horizontal compression which elevated the mountains, has 
yet ceased. We know that the work of destruction is not resting. Whether 
the uplift is still acting with sufficient force to make our mountains higher, 
or whether the elements are chiseling down rocks and lowering our whole 
surface, we cannot say. But this we can say, if the teachings of geology 
may be taken as warrant for the statement, every mountain, every hill, 
every cliff, rock, upland, even the valleys, and the whole vast underlying 
skeleton of rocks must ultimately pass away and disappear beneath the sea. 
Rain and frost, wind and the unseen chemical forces, will at last complete 
the work of destruction. Every rock will be worn to sand, and the sand 
will go out with the currents of our rivers, until the rivers no longer have 
currents, and the sea will flow in to cover the desolation. The sea once 
covered a level world; the world will again be level, and again will the sea 
cover it. 

There is greater diversity of climate in West Virginia than in almost 
any other area of the United States of equal size. The climate east of the 
Alleghanies is different from that west of the range; while that in the high 
plateau region is different from both. The State's topography is responsi- 


ble for this, as might be expected from a vertical range of more than four 
thousand feet, with a portion of the land set to catch the west wind, and a 
portion to the east, and still other parts to catch every wind that blows. 
Generally speaking, the country east of the Alleghanies has the warmer 
and dryer climate. In the mountain regions the summers are never very 
hot, and the winters are always very cold. The thermometer sometimes 
falls thirty degrees below zero near the summit of the Alleghanies, while 
the highest summer temperature is seldom above ninety degrees, but the 
record shows ninety-six. The depth of snow varies with the locality and 
the altitude. Records of snow six and seven feet deep near the summits of 
the highest mountains have been made. At an elevation of fifteen hundred 
feet above the sea there was snow forty-two inches deep in 1856 along the 
mountains and valleys west of the Alleghanies. In 1831, at an elevation of 
less than one thousand feet, snow accumulated three feet deep between the 
mountains and the Ohio River. Tradition tells of a snow in the northwest- 
ern part of the State in 1780 which was still deeper; but exact measurements 
were not recorded. The summers of 1838 and 1854 were almost rainless 
west of the mountains. In the same region in 1834 snow fell four inches 
deep on the fifteenth of May; and on June 5, 1859, a frost killed almost every 
green thing in the central and northern part of the State. 

The average annual rainfall for the State of West Virginia, including 
melted snow, is about forty-seven inches. During some years the rainfall 
is three or four times as great as in other years. The precipitation is 
greater west of the Alleghanies than east, and greatest near the summit of 
these mountains, on the western side. Our rains and snows come from two 
general directions, from the west-southwest and from the east. Local 
storms may come from any direction. Eastern storms are usually confined 
to the region east of the Alleghanies. The clouds which bring rains from 
that quarter come from the Atlantic Ocean. The high country following 
the summits of the Appalachian range from Canada almost to the Gulf of 
Mexico is the dividing line between the two systems of rains and winds 
which visit West Virginia. Storms from the Atlantic move up the gentle 
slope from the coast to the base of the mountains, precipitating their mois- 
ture in the form of rain or snow as they come. They strike the abrupt east- 
ern face of the Alleghanies, expending their force and giving out the 
remainder of their moisture there, seldom crossing to the west side. The 
Blue Ridge is not high enough to interfere seriously with the passage of 
clouds across their summits; but the Alleghanies are usually a barrier, 
especially for eastern storms. As the clouds break against their sides there 
are sometimes terrific rains below, while very little and perhaps none falls 
on the summit. On such an occasion an observer on one of the Alleghany 
peaks can look down upon the storm and can witness the play of lightning 
and hear the thunder beneath him. Winds which cross high mountains 
seldom deposit much rain or snow on the leeward side. 

Whence, then, does the western part of our State receive its rains? Not 
from the Atlantic, because the winds which bring rain for the country west 
of the Alleghanies blow towards that ocean, not from it. No matter in what 
part of the world rain or snow falls, it was derived from vapor taken up by 
the sun from some sea or ocean. An insignificant portion of the world's rain- 
fall is taken up as vapor from land. Prom what sea, then, do the winds blow 
which bring the rain that falls against the western slopes of the mountains 
and waters the country to the Ohio river and beyond? 


Take the back track of the winds and follow them to their starting 
point and that will settle the question. They come from a direction a little 
west of southwest. That course will lead to the Pacific Ocean west of 
Mexico. Go on in the same direction two thousand or three thousand miles, 
and reach the equator. Then turn at right angles and go southeast some 
thousand miles further and reach that wide domain of the Pacific which 
stretches from South America to Australia. There, most probably, would 
be found the starting point of the winds which bring us rain. The evidence 
to substantiate this statement is too elaborate and complex to be given here; 
suffice it that the great wind systems of the world, with their circuits, cur- 
rents and counter-currents, have been traced and charted until they are 
almost as well known as are the rivers of the world. * Not only is the great 
distance from which our rains come an astonishing theme for contempla- 
tion, but the immense quantity transported is more amazing — a sheet of 
water nearly four feet thick and covering an area of twenty thousand square 
miles, lifted by the sun's rays every year from the South Pacific, carried 
through the air ten thousand miles and sprinkled with a bountiful profu- 
sion upon our mountains, hills, vales, meadows and gardens to make them 
pleasing and fruitful. 

The soil of a country is usually understood to be the covering of the 
solid rock. It is very thin in comparison with the thickness of the subja- 
cent rock, not often more than four or five feet and frequently less. This 
is not the place for a chemical discussion of soils; but a few plain facts may 
be given. What is soil? Of what is it made? In the first place, leaving 
chemical questions out, soil is simply pulverized rock, mixed with vegetable 
or animal remains. The rocky ledges underlying a country, become disin- 
tegrated near the surface; they decompose; the sand and dust accumulate, 
washing into the low places and leaving the high points more or less bare, 
and a soil of sufficient depth is formed to support vegetation. A soil in 
which little or no vegetable humus is intermixed, is poor, and it produces 
little growth. Sand alone, no matter how finely pulverized is not capable 
of supporting vegetation, except a few peculiar species or varieties. This 
is why hillsides are so often nearly bare. The soil is deep enough, but it is 
poor. The state of being poor is nothing more than a lack of humus, or 
decaying vegetation. Those poor hillside soils either never had humus in 
them, or it has been washed out. A soil tolerable fertile is sometimes made 
miserably poor by being burned over each year when the leaves fall. The 
supjDly of vegetable matter which would have gone to furnish what the soil 
needed, is thus burned and destroyed; and in course of time that which was 
already in the soil is consumed or washed out, and instead of a fertile wood- 
land, there is a blasted, lifeless tract. Examples of this are too often met 
with in West Virginia. 

Excessive tillage of land exhausts it, because it takes out the organic 
matter and puts nothing back. It does not exhaust the disintegrated rock 
— the sand, the clay, the dust; but it takes out the vital part, the mold of 
vegetation. Fertilizers are used to restore the fertility of exhausted land. 
That process is misleading, in many cases. Too often the fertilizing mater- 
ial is a stimulant rather than a food to the land. It often adds no element 
of fertility, but, by a chemical process, compels the soil to give up all the 
remaining humus; and when the vegetable matter is all gone from the soil, 
all the fertilizers of that kind in the world would not cause the land to pro- 

*See Maury's Physical Geography of the Sea. 


duce a crop. The intelligent farmer does not need be told this. His experience 
has taught him the truth of it. No land is so completely sterile as that 
which, through excessive use of fertilizers, has been compelled to part with 
its vegetable matter. Something cannot be created from nothing. If a 
soil has no plant food in it, and a fertilizer contains no plant food, the 
mixing of the two will not produce plant life. 

A crop of clover, of buckwheat, of rye, or any other crop, plowed under, 
fertilizes land because it adds vegetable matter to the soil. Then if the soil 
is stubborn about yielding up its fertility, a treatment of the proper fertil- 
izing agent will compel it to do so. Bottom lands along the rivers and 
creeks are. usually more fertile than lands on the hills because rains leach 
the uplands and wash the decaying leaves and the humus down upon the 
lowlands. The soil along the river bottoms is often many feet deep, and 
fertile all the way down. This is because the washings from the hills have 
been accumulating there for ages faster than the vegetation which annually 
drew from it could exhaust the supply. It sometimes happens that the 
surface of a deep soil is exhausted by long cultivation; and that a sub-soil 
plow, which goes deeper than usual, turns up a new fertile soil which had 
lain beyond the reach of plant roots for ages. Occasionally a flood which 
covers bottom lands leaves a deposit of mud which is full of humus. This 
enriches the land where it lodges, but the mountain districts from which it 
was carried were robbed of that much fertility. 

Disintegrated rock of all kinds cannot be made fertile by the usual 
addition of vegetable humus. Certain chemical conditions must be complied 
with. Limestone generally forms good soil because it contains elements 
which enter into plants. Strata of rock, as we now see them, were once 
beds of sand and sediment. They hardened and became stone. Sandstone 
is formed of accumulations of sand; shale is made from beds of clay or 
mud; limestone was once an aggregation of shells and skeletons of large 
and small living creatures. When these rocks are broken up, disintegrated 
and become soils, they return to that state in which they were before they 
became rock. The limestone becomes shells and bones, but of course pul- 
verized, mixed and changed; sandstone becomes sand again; shale becomes 
mud and clay as it originally was. This gives a key to the cause of some 
soils being better than others. A clay bank is not easily fertilized; but a 
bed of black mud usually possesses elements on which plants can feed. So, 
if tbe disintegrating shale was originally sterile clay, it will make a poor 
soil; but if it was originally a fertile mud, the resulting soil will be good. 
If the disintegrating sandstone was once a pure quartz sand, the soils will 
likely be poor, but if it was something better, the soil will be better. The 
fertility of limestone soil is mainly due to the animal matter in the rock. 
It should always be borne in mind, however, that the difference of soils is 
dependent not so much upon their chemical composition as upon the 
physical arrangements of their particles. 

Plants do not feed exclusively upon the soil. As a matter of fact, a 
large part of the material which enters into the construction of the stems 
and leaves of some plants is derived from the air. Some plants prosper 
without touching the soil. A species of Chinese lily flourishes in a bowl of 
water with a few small rocks in the bottom. On the other hand there are 
plants that will wither in a few minutes if taken from the ground. This 
shows that some plants extract more material from the soil than other. It 
is a common saying that buckwheat rapidly exhausts land. 


Some lands are more affected by drought than others, when both 
receive the same rainfall. This may be due to the character of the under- 
lying rocks, although usually due to a different cause. If the soil is 
shallow and the subjacent rocks lie oblique and on edge, they are liable to 
carry the water away rapidly by receiving it into their openings and crevi- 
ces, thus draining the soil. But if the subjacent rocks lie horizontally, 
water which sinks through the soil is prevented from escaping, and is held 
as in a tub, and is fed gradually upward through the soil by capilliary 
attraction. This land will remain moist a long time. But the more usual . 
reason that one soil dries more rapidly than another, is that one is loose 
and the other compact. The compact soil dries quickest. The smaller the 
interspaces between the ultimate particles which make up the soil, the more 
rapidly water raises from the wet subsoil by capilliary attraction, and the 
supply is soon exhausted. The more compact the soil the smalle* the 
spaces between the particles. In loose ground the interspaces are larger, 
the water rises slowly or not at all, and the dampness remains longer 
beneath the surface. In the western countries where the summers are hot 
and rainless, the farmers irrigate their land, thoroughly soaking it from a 
neighboring canal. If they shut the water off and leave the land alone, in 
a few days it is baked, parched, hard and as dry as a bone. But the farmer 
does not do this. As soon as the water is turned off, he plows and harrows 
the land making the surface as loose as possible. The result is, the imme- 
diate top becomes dry, but a few inches below the surface the soil remains 
moist for weeks. The water cannot escape through the porous surface. 
The same rule applies everywhere. If two cornfields lie side by side, 
especially in a dry season, and one is carefully tilled and the surface kept 
loose, while the other is not, the difference in the crops will show that in 
one case the moisture in the soil was prevented from escaping and was fed 
to the corn roots, while in the other case it rose to the surface and was 
blown away by the wind, leaving the corn to die of thirst. 





" Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened with the process of the suns. " 

— Tennyson. 

The settlement of the territory now embraced in West Virginia com- 
menced about 1730, and before the close of the eighteenth century there 
were cabins or colonies in the valleys of all the principal rivers of the State. 
The first settlers were governed by the laws in force in Virginia from the 
earliest occupation of our territory until 1863. A proper consideration of 
the history of our State requires that mention be made of some of the old 
laws. They should be studied to show the progress of society during the 
past century. There are persons who speak of the "good old times" as 
though everything were better than now, and who speak of the people of a 
hundred years ago as if they were greater, purer, nobler than the men of 
today, and as if, when they died, wisdom died with them. The historian 
knows that this belief is erroneous. Not only are there men now living 
who are as upright, wise and patriotic as any who ever lived, but society, 
in all its branches and departments, has grown better. Only the pessimist 
refuses to see that the human race is climbing to a higher level, and not 

To bring this truth nearer home to the people, let a retrospective view 
of the customs and laws prevailing here a century ago be taken. That the 
people of Virginia tolerated barbarous laws long after the close of the Rev- 
olutionary War is proof that the laws were not obnoxious to a majority of 
the people, otherwise they would have changed them. Before proceeding 
to a statement of the Acts of the Virginia Legislature, let it be remembered 
that at that time Washington was President of the United States and the 
great men of Virginia, at the close of the last century and the beginning of 
this, were in their prime. They were responsible for the bad laws as well 
as for the good; if not directly, at least indirectly, for they were looked 
upon as leaders. Patrick Henry, who had exclaimed, ' ' give me liberty or 
give me death," was yet living and practicing law; John Randolph, of Roan- 
oke, was entering his career of greatness; James Monroe, soon to be Presi- 
dent of the United States, was a leader in Virginia; George Mason, the 
author of the Bill of Rights, had not yet lost his influence; James Madison, 
also to be President of the United States, was a leader among the Virgin- 
ians; William Wirt, one of Virginia's greatest lawyers, was in his prime; 
Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia, was in politics; John Marshall, 
the famous Chief Justice, was practicing in the courts; Thomas Jefferson, 
the author of the Declaration of Independence, was in the height of power; 


and the list might be extended much further. Yet, with all of these truly- 
great men in power in Virginia, the Legislature of that State passed such 
laws as will be found below: 

On December 26, 1792, an Act was passed for the purpose of suppress- 
ing vice, and provided that for swearing, cursing or being drunk the fine 
should be eighty-three cents for each offense, and if not paid, the offender 
should have ten lashes on the bare back. For working on Sunday the fine 
was one dollar and sixty-seven cents. For stealing a hogshead or cask of 
tobacco found lying by the public highway, the punishment was death. 

On December 19, 1792, an Act was passed by the Virginia Legislature 
providing that any person found guilty of forgery must be put to death; and 
the same punishment was provided for those who erased, defaced or changed 
the inspector's stamp on flour or hemp. No less severe was the punish- 
ment for those who stole land warrants. But for the man who made, passed 
or had in his possession counterfeit money, knowing it to be such, the pen- 
alty of death was not enough. He was not only to be put to death, but was 
forbidden the attendance of a minister, and must go to*execution "in the 
blossom of his sin." The design of the law-makers evidently was to add to 
his punishment not only in this life, but, if possible, send him to eternal 
punishment after death. It is not in the province or power of the writers 
of history to ascertain whether the Virginia Assembly ever succeeded in 
killing a man and sending him to eternal torment in the lake of fire and 
brimstone because he had a counterfeit dime in his pocket, but the proba- 
bility is that the powers of the law-makers ceased when they had hanged 
their man, and a more just and righteous tribunal then took charge of 
his case. 

It is evident that the early Virginia law-makers laid great stress on the 
idea of clergy to attend the condemned man. If they wished to inflict 
extreme punishment they put on the finishing touches by denying the priv- 
ilege of clergy. On November 27, 1789, an Act was passed by the Legisla- 
ture segregating crimes into two classes, one of which was designated as 
"clergyable," and the other as "unclergyable. " It was provided that the 
unclergyable crimes were murder in the first degree, burglary, arson, the 
burning of a Court-House or prison, the burning of a clerk's 'office, felone- 
ously stealing from the church or meeting-house, robbing a house in pres- 
ence of its occupants, breaking into and robbing a dwelling house by day, 
after having put its owner in fear. For all these offences the penalty was 
death. A provision was made in some cases for clergy; but, lest the con- 
victed man's punishment might not thereby be too much lightened, it was 
stipulated that he must have his hand burned before he was hanged. 
The same law further provided that, although a man's crime might not 
be unclergyable, yet if he received the benefit of clergy, and it was subse- 
quently ascertained that he had formerly committed an unclergyable 
offense, he must then be put to death without further benefit of clergy. In 
this law it was expressly provided that there should be no mitigation of 
punishment in case of women. 

By an Act of December 26, 1792, it was provided that the man who 
apprehended a runaway servant and put him in jail was to receive one 
dollar and forty-seven cents, and mileage, to be paid by the owner. This 
law was, no doubt, intended to apply chiefly to slaves rather than to white 
servants. If the runaway remained two months in jail unclaimed, the 
sheriff must advertise him in the Virginia Gazette, and after putting an iron. 


collar on his neck, marked with the letter "P," hire him out, and from his 
wages pay the costs. After one year, if still unclaimed, he was to be sold. 
The money, after the charges were paid, was to be given to the former 
owner if he ever proved his claim, and if he did not do so, it belonged to 
the State. 

The law-makers believed in discouraging gossip and tattling. A law 
passed by the Virginia Legislature, December 27, 1792, was in the follow- 
ing-language: "Whereas, many idle and busy-headed people do forge and 
divulge false rumors and reports, be it resolved by the General Assembly, 
that what person or persons soever shall forge or divulge any such false 
report, fending to the trouble of the country, he shall be by the next Jus- 
tice of the Peace sent for and bound over to the next County Court, where, 
if he produce not his author, he shall be fined forty dollars or less if the 
court sees fit to lessen it, and besides give bond for his good behavior, if it 
appear to the court that he did maliciously publish or invent it. " 

There was a studied effort on the part of the Legislators to discourage 
hog -stealing. It is not apparent why it should be a worse crime to steal a 
hog than to steal a cow; or why the purloining of a pig should outrank in 
criminality the taking of a calf; or why it should be a greater offense to 
appropriate a neighbor's shoat than his sheep. But the early law-makers 
in Virginia seem to have so considered it and they provided a law for the 
special benefit of the hog thief. This law, passed by the Legislature 
December 8, 1792, declared that "any person, not a slave, who shall steal a 
hog, shoat or pig," should receive thirty-five lashes on the bare back; or if 
he preferred to do so, he might escape the lashing by paying a fine of thirty 
dollars; but whether he paid the fine or submitted to the stripes, he still 
must pay eight dollars to the owner for each hog stolen by him. This much 
of the law is comparatively mild, but it was for the first offense only. As 
the thief advanced in crime the law's severity increased. For the second 
offense in hog-stealing the law provided that the person convicted, if not a 
slave, should stand two hours in a pillory, on a public court day, at the 
Court-House, and have both ears nailed to the pillory, and at the end of two 
hours, should have his ears cut loose from the nails. It was expressly pro- 
vided that no exception should be made in the case of women. If the hog 
thief still persisted in his unlawful business and transgressed the law a 
third time, he was effectually cured of his desire for other people's hogs by 
being put to death. 

The slave had a still more severe punishment for stealing hogs. For 
the first offense he received ' ' thirty-nine lashes on the bare back, well laid 
on, at the public whipping-post." For the second offense he was nailed by 
the ears to a post, and after two hours of torture, had his ears cut off. For 
the third 'offense he was put to death. The law provided that if a negro or 
Indian were put on the stand as a witness against a person accused of steal- 
ing hogs, and did not tell the truth, he should be whipped, nailed to a post, 
his ears cut, and if he still testified falsely, he paid the penalty with his 
life. It is not provided how the court shall be led to the knowledge 
whether or not the witness had told the truth. It appears that the judge 
was presumed to be infallible in separating false from true testimony in 
trials for hog-stealing. After a hog had been stolen and killed, the relent- 
less law still followed it to try to discover if some one else might not be 
punished. If a person bought, or received into his possession, a hog from 
which the ears had been removed, he was adjudged guilty of hog-stealing, 


unless he could prove that the hog was his own property. There was also 
a law forbidding any one from purchasing pork of Indians unless the ears 
went with the pork. There would be some inconvenience in retailing pork 
under this restriction, as it would require a skillful butcher to so cut up a 
hog that each ham, shoulder, side and the sausage should retain the ears. 

If stealing hogs was a crime almost too heinous to be adequately pun- 
ished in this world, horse-stealing was so much worse that the law-makers 
of Virginia would not undertake to provide a law to reach the case. They, 
therefore, enacted a law, December 10, 1792, that the convicted horse-thief 
must be put to death; and, in order that he should certainly reach eternal 
punishment beyond death, he was forbidden to have spiritual advice. The 
language of the law is that the horse thief shall be "utterly excluded." 

An Act of unnecessary severity was passed December 22, 1792, against 
negroes who should undertake to cure the sick. It is reasonable and right 
that the law should carefully guard the people against harm from those 
who ignorantly practice medicine; but to us of the present day it appears 
that a less savage law would have answered the purpose. It was provided 
that any negro who prepared, exhibited, or administered medicine should 
be put to death without benefit of clergy. It was provided, however, that 
a negro might, with the knowledge and consent of his master, have medi- 
cine in his possession. 

The law of Virginia required every county to provide a Court-House, 
Jail, Pillory, Whipping Post, Stocks and a Ducking Stool. But the Duck- 
ing Stool might be dispensed with if the County Court saw fit to do so. The 
Whipping Post was the last of these relics of barbarism to be removed. So 
far as can be ascertained the last public and legalized burning of a convicted 
man in West Virginia occurred in July, 1828, in the old Court-House in 
Hampshire County. A negro slave, named Simon, the property of David 
Collins, was tried on a charge of assault. The record does not show that 
he had a jury. The court found him guilty and ordered the Sheriff to burn 
him on the hand and give him one hundred lashes, chain him, and keep 
him on ' ' coarse and low diet. " The minutes of the court state that the 
Sheriff ' ' immediately burned him in the hand in the presence of the court, " 
and gave him then and there twenty-five lashes. The remaining seventy- 
five were reserved for future days. 

It is but justice to the law-makers of Virginia, and the people at that 
time, to state that nearly all of those severe laws came from England, or 
were enacted in the colony of Virginia many years before the Revolutionary 
War. Some of them date back to the time of Cromwell, or even earlier. 
Although the people of Virginia took the lead in the movement for greater 
liberty, both mental and physical, they could not all at once cut loose from 
the wrecks of past tyranny. They advanced rapidly along some fines, but 
slowly along others. They found those old laws on the statute books, and 
re-enacted them, and suffered them to exist for a generation or more. But 
we should not believe that such men as Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, 
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the other statesmen and patriots 
of that time believed that a man should be nailed to a post for stealing a 
pig, or that the crime of stealing a hymn book from a cfiurcfi sfiould be pun- 
ished with death without benefit of clergy. 

A law passed near the close of the last century, and still in force in 
1819, provided Sheriff's fees on a number of items, among which were the 
following: For making an arrest, sixty-three cents; for pillorying a crimi- 


nal, fifty- Iwo cents; for putting a criminal in the stocks, twenty-one cents; 
for ducking a criminal in pursuance of an order of court, forty-two cents; 
for putting a criminal in prison, forty-two cents; for hanging a criminal, 
five dollars and twenty-five cents; for whipping a servant, by order of 
court, to be paid by the master and repaid to him by the servant, forty-two 
cents; for whipping a free person, by order of court, to be paid by the per- 
son who received the whipping, forty-two cents; for whipping a slave, by 
order of court, to be paid by the county, forty-two cents; for selling a ser- 
vant at public outcry, forty-two cents; for keeping and providing for a 
debtor in jail, each day, twenty-one cents. 

It was more expensive to be whipped or pilloried by the Sheriff than by 
a Constable, although there is no evidence that the Sheriff did the work 
any more effectively. Since the person who received the punishment usu- 
ally paid the fees of the officer who performed the service, it is probable 
that such person preferred being whipped or nailed to a post by a Consta- 
ble, because it was less expensive. Some of the Constable's fees are shown 
below: For putting a condemned man in the stocks, twenty-one cents; for 
whipping a servant, twenty-one cents; for whipping a slave, to be paid by 
the master, twenty-one cents; for removing a person likely to become a 
charge on the county, per mile, four cents. 

Within the past century several important changes have taken place in 
the laws under which West Virginia has been governed. An Act of As- 
sembly, passed November 29, 1792, provided that in cases where a person 
is suspected of having committed a murder, and the Coroner's jury recom- 
mend that he be held for trial, and he eludes arrest, the Coroner must seize 
his house and property and hold them until he surrenders himself or is 
arrested. Where a defendant was found guilty the costs of the prosecution 
was collected by sale of his property, if he had any property; but he might 
pay cost and thus save his property. No Constable, miller, surveyor of 
roads or hotel-keeper was eligible to serve on a grand jury. A law passed 
January 16, 1801, provided a fine of five dollars as a penalty for killing deer 
between January 1 and August 1 of each year. A law enacted January 26, 
1814, provided that sheep-killing dogs should be killed. If the owner pre- 
vented the execution of the law upon the dog he was subject to a fine of two 
dollars for each day in which he saved the life of the dog. The bounty on 
wolves was made six dollars for each scalp, by a law passed February 9, 
1819. But the bounty was not always the same, nor was it uniform through- 
out the counties of Virginia. Each county could fix the bounty within its 
jurisdiction. A law of January 16, 1802, provided a fine of thirty dollars 
for setting the woods on fire; and a law of January 4, 1805, punished by a 
fine of ten dollars the catching of fish in a seine between May 15 and 
August 15. 

There was a severe law passed by the Virginia Legislature February 
22, 1819, for' the benefit of tavern-keepers. It provided a fine of thirty dol- 
lars for each offense, to be levied against any person not a licensed tavern- 
keeper, who should take pay from a traveler for entertaiment given. Not 
only was this law in force in and near towns, but also within eight hundred 
yards of any public road. There was a law enacted by the Assembly of 
Virginia December 24, 1796, which was intended to favor the poor people. 
It is in marked contrast with many of the laws of that time, for they were 
generally not made to benefit the poor. The law had for its object the aid- 
ing of persons of small means in reaching justice through the courts. A 


man who had no money had it in his power to prosecute a suit ^against a 
rich man. He could select the court in which to have his case tried; the 
court furnished him an attorney free; he was charged nothing for his sub- 
poenas and other writs; and he was not charged with costs in case he lost 
his suit. A law similar to that is still in force in West Virginia. 

In 1792 an Act was passed by the Virginia Legislature establishing fer- 
ries across the principal streams of the State, and fixing the rate of toll. 
The State was in the ferry business strictly for the money in it. The law 
provided that no person should operate a private ferry for profit where he 
would take patronage from a public ferry. The penalty for so doing seems 
unnecessarily severe. The person who undertook to turn a few dimes into 
his own pocket by carrying travelers across a river, where those travelers 
might go by public ferry, was fined twenty dollars for each offense, half of 
it to go to the nearest public ferryman and the other half to the person who 
gave the information; and in case the public ferryman gave the informa- 
tion, the entire fine went into his pocket. It will readily be surmised that 
the public ferryman maintained a sharp lookout for private boats which 
should be so presumptuous as to dare enter into competition for a portion 
of the carrying trade, and it is equally probable that competition with pub- 
lic service soon became unpopular, when a man might receive five cents for 
carrying a traveler across a river and to be fined twenty dollars for it. 

Messengers and other persons on business for the State were not 
required to pay toll, and they must be carried across immediately, at any 
hour of the day or night. But, as a precaution against being imposed upon 
by persons falsely claiming to be in the service of the State, the ferryman 
was authorized to demand proof, which the applicant was obliged to fur- 
nish. This proof consisted of a letter, on the back of which must be writ- 
ten "public service," and must be signed by some officer, either in the civil 
or military service of the State. Inasmuch as the punishment for forgery 
at that time was death, it is improbable that any person would present 
forged documents to the ferryman in order to save a few cents toll. The 
men who kept the ferries enjoyed some immunities and privileges denied to 
the masses. They were exempt from work on the public roads. They 
were not required to pay county taxes, but whether this privilege was ex- 
tended only to poll tax, or whether it applied also to personal property and 
real estate, is not clear from the reading of the regulations governing the 
business. They were exempt from military service due the State, and they 
were excused from holding the office of Constable. 


Hampshire County. 




The territory now embraced in the State of West Virginia has "been 
governed under five State constitutions, three of Virginia's and two of West 
Virginia's. The first was adopted in 1776, the second in 1830, the third in 
1851, the fourth in 1863, the fifth in 1872. The first constitution was passed 
by the Virginia Convention, June 29, 1776, five days before the signing of 
the Declaration of Independence. Virginia had taken the lead in declaring 
the United States independent and capable of self-government; and 'it also 
took the lead in preparing a system of government for itself. The consti- 
tution passed by its convention in 1776 was one of the first documents of 
the kind in the world, and absolutely the first in America. Its aim was 
lofty. It had in view greater liberty than men had ever before enjoyed. 
The document is a masterpiece of statesmanship, yet its ternis are simple. 
It was the foundation on which nearly all the State constitutions have been 
based. It was in force nearly fifty years, and not until experience had 
shown wherein it was defective was there any disposition to change it or 
form a new constitution. Viewed now in the light of nearly a century and 
a quarter of progressive government, there are features seen in it which do 
not conform to the ideas of statesmen of today. But it was so much better, 
at the time of its adoption, than anything gone before that it was entirely 

A Bill of Rights preceded the first constitution. On May 15, 1776, the 
Virginia Convention instructed its delegates in Congress to propose to that 
body to declare the United Colonies independent, and at the same time the 
Convention appointed a committee to prepare a Declaration of Rights and 
a plan of government for Virginia. On June 12 the Bill of Rights was 
passed. The document was written by George Mason, member of the com- 
mittee. This state paper is of interest, not only as being one of the earliest 
of the kind in America, but because it contains inconsistencies which in 
after years clung to the laws of Virginia, carrying injustice with them, un- 
til West Virginia, when it became a State, refused to allow them to become 
part of the laws of the new Commonwealth. The chief of these inconsis- 
tencies is found in the just declaration at the outset of the Bill of Rights, 
"that all men are by nature equally free and independent;" and yet further 
on it paves the way for restricting the privilege of suffrage to those who 
own property, thereby declaring in terms, if not in words, that a poor man 
is not as free and independent as a rich man. Here was the beginning of 
the doctrine so long held in Virginia by its law-makers, that a man without 
property should not have a voice in the government. In after years this 
doctz'ine was combated by the people of the territory now forming West 


Virginia. The inhabitants west of the Blue Ridge, and especially west of 
the Alleghanies, were the champions of universal suffrage, and they labored 
to attain that end, but with little success until they were able to set up a 
government for themselves, in which government men were placed above 
property. Further on in this chapter something more will be found on this 

The Bill of Rights declares that the freedom of the press is one of 'the 
chief bulwarks of liberty. This is in marked contrast with and a noticeable 
advance beyond the doctrine held by Sir William Berkeley, one of Virginia's 
royal governors, who solemnly declared, "I thank God we have not free 
schools or printing, and I hope we will not have these hundred years, for 
learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the world, and 
printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep 
us from both." This solemn protest of Virginia's Governor was made 
nearly forty years after the founding of Harvard University in Massa- 
chusetts. It has been sometimes cited as an illustration of the difference 
between the Puritan civilization in Massachusetts and the Cavalier civiliza- 
tion of Virginia. But the comparison is unfair. It was no test of Virginia's 
civilization, for the Governor was carrying out instructions from England 
to suppress printing, and he did not consult the people of the colony 
whether they wanted printing presses or not. But when a printer, John 
Buckner by name, ten years after Governor Berkeley asked divine protec- 
tion against schools and printing, ventured into Virginia with a press he 
was promptly brought before the Governor and was compelled to give bond 
that he would print nothing until the King of England gave consent. 

In view of this experience it is not to be wondered at that the Virgin- 
ians were prompt in declaring in their Bill of Rights that the press should 
be free. But they did not embrace that excellent opportunity to say a word 
in favor of schools. Nor could they, at one sweep, bring themselves to the 
broad doctrine that property does not round off and complete the man, but 
that "a man's a man for a' that," and capable, competent and trustworthy 
to take full part in the affairs of government. This Bill of Rights was 
brought into existence in the early part of the Revolutionary War, and at 
that very time the bold, patient, patriotic and poor backwoodsmen from the 
frontiers were in the American armies, fighting and dying in the cause of 
liberty and equal rights; and yet, by laws then being enacted, these same 
men were denied the right to take part in the management of the govern- 
ment which they were fighting to establish. It was for no other reason 
than that they were not assessed with enough property to give ' ' sufficient 
evidence of permanent common interest with and attachment to the com- 
munity." This notion had been brought from England, and had been fast- 
ened upon the colony of Virginia so firmly that it could not be shaken off 
when that State severed the political ties which bound it to the mother 
country. The idea clung to the constitution passed in 1776; to that of 1830; 
to that of 1851; but sentiment against the property qualification for suffrage 
constantly grew, and particularly among the people of Western Virginia, 
until it manifested itself in striking the obnoxious clause from the consti- 
tution when the State of West Virginia came into separate existence. 

If the War of the Revolution did not teach the statesmen of Virginia 
that the poor man can be a patriot, and if the thirty-five or more years inter- 
vening between the adoption of the constitution of 1776 and the second war 
with England had not sufficed to do so, it might be supposed that the new 


experience of the War of 1812 would have made the fact clear. But it did 
not convince the law-maker. Virginia was speedily invaded by the British 
after the declaration of war, and some of the most valuable property in the 
State was destroyed, and some of the best territory was overrun by the 
enemy. The city of Washington, just across the Potomac from Virginia, 
was captured and burned. An ex-President of the United States was com- 
pelled to hide in the woods to avoid capture by the enemy. In this critical 
time no soldiers fought more valiantly, none did more to drive back the ** 
invader, than the men from Western Virginia, where lived most of those ' 
who were classed too poor to take part in the affairs of government. It is 
said that sometimes half the men in a company of soldiers had never been 
permitted to vote because they did not own enough property. 

The people of Western Virginia felt the injustice keenly. They never 
failed to respond promptly to a call when their services were fleeded in the 
field, but in time of peace they sought in a lawful and decent manner the 
redress of their grievances. They could not obtain this redress under the 
constitution then in force, and the War of 1812 had scarcely come to a close 
when the subject of a new constitution began to be spoken of. It was agi- 
tated long in vain. Nor was the restriction of suffrage the only wrong the 
people of Western Virginia endured, somewhat iinimtiently, but always with 
full respect for the laws then in force. 

The eastern part of Virginia had the majority of inhabitants and the 
largest part of the property, and this gave that portion of the State the 
majority in the Assembly. This power was used with small respect for the 
rights of the people in the western part of the State. Internal improve- 
ments were made on a large scale in the east, but none were made west of 
the mountains, or very few. Men in the western counties had little encour- 
agement to aspire to political distinction. The door was shut on them. The 
State offices were filled by men from the wealthy eastern districts. At 
length the agitation of the question of a new constitution ripened into 
results. The Assembly of Virginia in 1828 passed a bill submitting to a 
vote of the people whether they would have a constitutional convention 
called. At the election there were 38,542 votes cast, of which 21,896 were 
in favor of a constitutional convention. By far the heaviest vote favoring 
the convention was cast west of the Blue Ridge. The wealthy slave-owners 
of the lower counties wanted no change. The constitution had been framed 
to suit them, and they wanted nothing better. They feared that any change " 
would give them something less suitable. Nevertheless, when the votes 
were counted and it was ascertained that a new constitution was inevitable, 
the representatives of the wealth of the State set to work to guard, against 
any invasion of the privileges they had so long enjoyed. 

The delegates from what is now West Virginia elected to this conven- 
tion were: E. M. Wilson and Charles S. Morgan, of Monongalia County; 
William McCoy, of Pendleton County; Alexander Campbell and Philip Dod- 
dridge, of Brooke County; Andrew Beirne, of Monroe County; William 
Smith, of Greenbrier County; John Baxter, of Pocahontas; H. L. Opie and 
Thomas Griggs, of Jefferson; William Nay lor and William Donaldson, of 
Hampshire; Philip Pendleton and Elisha Boyd, of Berkeley; E. S. Duncan, 
of Harrison; John Laidley, of Cabell; Lewis Summers, of Kanawha; Adam 
See, of Randolph. The leader of the western delegates in the convention 
was Philip Doddridge, who did all in his power to have the property qualifi- 
cation clause omitted from the new constitution. 


The convention met at Richmond, October 5, 1829. From the very first 
meeting the western members were slighted. No western man was named 
in the selection of officers of the convention. It was seen at the outset that 
the property qualification for suffrage would not be given up by the eastern 
members without a strusjgle, and it was soon made plain that this qualifica- 
tion would have a majority. It was during the debates in this convention 
that Philip Doddridge, one of West Virginia's greatest men, came to the 
front in his full stature. His opponents were Randolph, Leigh, Upshur, 
Tazewell, Standard and others, who supported the doctrine that a voter 
should be a property-owner. One of Doddridge's colleagues was Alexander 
Campbell, the founder of the Church of the Disciples of Christ, sometimes 
known as the Christian Church, and again called, from its founder, the 
Campbellite Church. Here were two powerful intellects, Doddridge and 
Campbell, and they championed the cause of liberty in a form more ad- 
vanced than was then allowed in Virginia. Doddridge himself had followed 
the plow, and he felt that the honest man does not need a certain number 
of acres before he can be trusted with the right of suffrage. He had served 
in the Virginia Legislature and knew from observation and experience the 
needs of the people in his part of the State. He was born on the bank of 
the Ohio River two years before the backwoodsmen of Virginia annulled 
the Quebec Act, passed by the Pai-liament of England, and he had grown 
to manhood in the dangers and vicissitudes of the frontiers. He was but 
five years old at the first siege of Port Henry, and was ten years old at the 
second siege; and the shot which brought down the last British flag that 
floated above the soil of Virginia during the Revolutionary War was fired 
almost within hearing of his home. Among his neighbors were Lewis 
Wetzel, Bbenezer Zane, Samuel Brady and the men who fought to save the 
homes-of the frontier settlers during the long and anxious years of Indian 
warfare. Although Doddridge died two years after this convention, while 
serving in Congress, he had done enough to give West Virginia reason for 
remembering him. The work of Campbell does not stand out in so conspic- 
uous a manner in the proceedings of the convention, but his influence for 
good was great; and if the delegates from west of the mountains labored in 
vain for that time, the result was seen in later years. 

The work of the convention was brought to a close in 1830, and a new 
constitution was given to the voters of the State for their approval or rejec- 
tion. The western members had failed to strike out the distasteful prop- 
erty qualification. They had all voted against it except Doddridge, who 
was unable to attend that session on account of sickness, no doubt due to 
overwork. His vote, however, would have changed nothing, as the eastern 
members had a large majority and carried every measure they wanted. In 
the dissatisfaction consequent upon the failure of the western counties to 
secure what they considered justice began the movement for a new State. 
More than thirty years elapsed before the object was attained, and it was 
brought about by means and from causes which not the wisest statesman 
foresaw in 1830, yet the sentiment had been growing all the years. The old 
State of Virginia was never forgiven the offense and injury done the west- 
ern district in the constitutional convention of 1829-1830. If the injustice 
was partly removed by the enlarged suffrage granted in the constitution 
adopted twenty years after, it was then too late for the atonement to be 
accepted as a blotting out of past wrongs; and in 1861 the people of West 
Virginia replied to the old State's long years of oppression and tyranny. 


The constitution of 1830 adopted the Bill of Rights of 1776 without 
amendment or change. Then followed a long preamble reciting the wrongs 
under which Virginia suffered, prior to the Revolutionary War, before inde- 
pendence was secured. Under this constitution the Virginia House of Del- 
egates consisted of one hundred and thirty-four members, of which twenty- 
six were chosen by the counties lying west of the Alleghenies; twenty-five 
by the counties between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies; forty-two by 
the counties between the Blue Ridge and tidewater, and thirty- six by the 
tidewater counties. The Senate consisted of thirty-two members, of which 
thirteen were from the counties west of the Blue Ridge. No priest or 
preacher was eligible to the Legislature. The right of suffrage was based 
on a property qualification. The ballot was forbidden and all voting was 
viva voce. Judges of the supreme court and of the superior courts were 
not elected by the people, but by the joint vote of the Senate and House of 
Delegates. The Attorney General was chosen in the same way. Sheriffs 
and Coroners were nominated by the county courts and appointed by the 
Governor. Justices of the Peace were appointed by the Governor and the 
Constables were appointed by the Justices. Clerks were appointed by the 
courts. The State Treasurer was elected by the joint vote of the Senate 
and House of Delegates. It is thus seen that the only State officers for 
which people could vote directly were Senators and members of the House 
of Delegates. Such an arrangement would be very unsatisfactory at the 
present day among people who have become accustomed to select their 
officers, almost without exception, from the highest to the lowest. The 
growth of the Republican principle of Government has been gradual. It 
was not all grasped at once; nor has it reached its fullest developement yet. 
The Bill of Rights and the first constitution of Virginia were a great step 
forward from the bad Government under England's Colonial system; but 
the gathered wisdom of more than a century has discovered and corrected 
many imperfections. 

It is noticable that the constitution of 1830 contains no provisions for 
public schools. It may be stated generally that the early history of Vir- 
ginia shows little development of the common school idea. The State 
which was satisfied for seventy-five years with suffrage denied the poor 
would not be likely to become famous for its zeal in the cause of popular 
education. The rich, who voted, could afford schools for their children; 
and the father who was poor could neither take part in the Government nor 
educate his children. Virginia was behind most of the old states in free 
schools. At the very time that Governor Berkeley thanked God that there 
were neither free schools nor printing presses in Virginia, Connecticut was 
devoting to education one fourth of its revenue from taxation. As late as 
1857 Virginia with a population of nearly a million and a half, had only 
41,608 children in common schools. When this is compared with other 
states, the contrast is striking. Massachusetts with a smaller population 
had five times as many children in the free schools; New Hampshire with 
one-fifth the population had twice as many; Illinois had nearly eight times 
as many, yet a smaller population; Ohio with a population a little larger 
had more than fourteen times as many children in public schools as Vir- 
ginia. The following additional states in 1857 had more children attending 
common schools than Virginia had in proportion to their population: 
Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, 


Maryland, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama. The 
states with a smaller percentage of children in the common schools than 
Virginia's were South Carolina, California and Mississippi. For the 
remainder of the states, the statistics for that year were not compiled. 

The showing is bad for Virginia. Although the lack of provision for 
popular education in the convention of 1830 does not appear to have caused 
opposition from the western members, yet the promptness with which the 
State of West Virginia provided for public schools as soon as it had a 
chance, is evidence that the sentiment west of the Alleghanies was strong 
in favor of popular education. 

When the western delegates returned home after completing their 
labors in the convention of 1829-1830, they found that their constituents 
were much dissatisfied with the constitution. The chief thing contended 
for, less restriction on suffrage, had been refused, and the new constitution, 
while in some respects better than the old, retained the most objectionable 
feature of the old. At the election held early in 1830 for ratifying or 
rejecting the new constitution, 41,618 votes were cast, of which, 26,055 
were for ratification and 15,563 against. The eastern part of the State 
voted strongly for ratification; the western part against it. Only two 
counties in what is now West Virginia gave a majority for it; and only one 
east of the Blue Ridge voted against it. The vote by counties in West 
Virginia was as follows: Berkeley, for 95, against 161; Brooke, the home 
of Doddridge and Campbell, for 0, against 371; Cabell, for 5, against 334; 
Greenbrier, for 34, against 464; Hampshire, for 241, against 211; Hardy, 
for 63, against 120; Harrison, for 8, against 1,112; Jefferson, for 243, 
asrainst 53; Kanawha, lor 42, against 266; Lewis, for 10, against 546; 
Logan, for 2, against 255; Mason, for 31, against 369; Monongalia, for 305, 
against 460; Monroe, for 19, against 451; Morgan, for 29, against 156; 
Nicholas, for 28, against 325; Ohio for 3, against 643; Pendleton, for 58, 
against 219; Pocahontas, for 9, against 288; Preston, for 121, against 357; 
Randolph, for 4, against 567; Tyler, for 5, against 299; Wood, for 28, 
against 410. Total, for 1,383, against 8,375. 

Although the constitution of 1830 was unsatisfactory to the people of 
the western counties, and they had voted to reject it, it had been fastened 
upon them by the vote of the eastern counties. However, the matter was 
not to end there. In a Republican Government the way to reach a redress 
of grievances is to keep the proposed reform constantly before the people. 
If right, it will finally prevail. In all reform movements or questions, the 
right is nearly always in the minority at first; perhaps it is always so. The 
Western Virginians had been voted down, but they at once began to agitate 
the question of calling another constitutional convention. They kept at it 
for twenty years. Finally a Legislature was chosen which called an elec- 
tion on the subject of a constitutional convention. The majority of the 
Legislature was in favor of the convention, and in May, 1850, an election 
was held to choose delegates. Those elected from the country west of the 
Alleghanies, and from districts partly east and partly west of those moun- 
tains, were John Kenny, A. M. Newman, John Lionberger, George E. 
Deneale, G. B. Samuels, William Seymour, Giles Cook, Samuel C. Williams, 
Allen T. Caperton, Albert G. Pendleton, A. A. Chapman, Charles J. Faulk- 
ner, William Lucas, Dennis Murphy, Andrew Hunter, Thomas Sloan, James 
E. Stewart, Richard E. Byrd, Charles Blue, Jefferson T. Martin, Zachariah 
Jacob, John Knote, Thomas Gaily, Benjamin H. Smith, William Smith, 


Samuel Price, George W. Summers, Joseph Johnson, John F. Snodgrass. 
Gideon D. Camden, Peter G. Van Winkle, William G. Brown. Waitman T, 
Willey, Edward J. Armstrong, James Neeson, Samuel L. Hayes, Joseph 
Smith, John S. Carlile, Thomas Bland, Elisha W. McComas, Henry J. 
Fisher, and James H. Ferguson. 

One of these delegates, Joseph Johnson, of Harrison County, was the 
only man up to that time ever chosen Governor from the district west of 
the Alleghanies; and in the three-quarters of a century since the adoption 
of Virginia's first constitution, no man from west of the Alleghanies had 
ever been sent to the United States Senate; and only one had been elected 
from the country west of the Blue Ridge. Eastern property had out-voted 
western men. Still the people west of the mountains sought their remedy 
in a new constitution, just as they had sought in vain nearly a generation 

The constitutional convention met and organized for work. The dele- 
gates from the eastern part of the State at once showed their hand. They 
insisted from the start that there should be a property qualification for suf- 
frage. This was the chief point against which the western people had been 
so long contending, and the members from west of the Alleghanies were 
there to resist such a provision in the new constitution and to fight it to the 
last. Lines were drawn upon this issue. The contending forces were at once 
arrayed for the fight. It was seen that the western members and the 
members who took sides with them were not in as hopeless a minority as 
they had been in the convention of 1830. Still they were not so strong as 
to assure victory, and the battle was to be long and hard-fought. If there 
was one man among the western members more conspicuous as a leader than 
the others, that man was Waitman T. Willey, of Monongalia County. An 
unswerving advocate of liberty in its widest interpretation, and with an un- 
compromising hatred of tyranny and oppression, he had jjrepared himself 
to fight in the front when the question of restriction of suffrage should 
come up. The eastern members forced the issue, and he met it. He denied 
that property is the true source of political power; but, rather, that the true 
source should be sought in wisdom, virtue, patriotism; and that wealth, 
while not bad in itself, frequently becomes a source of political weakness. 
The rights of persons are above the rights of property. Mr. Scott, a dele- 
gate from Fauquier County, declared that this movement by the western 
members was simply an effort to get their hands on the pocket books of the 
wealthy east. Mr. Willey repelled this impeachment of the integrity of the 
west. Other members in sympathy with the property qualification took up 
the cue and the assault upon the motives of the people of the west became 
severe and unjust. But the members from that part of the State defended 
the honor of its people with a vigor and a success which defeated the prop- 
erty qualification in the constitution. 

It was not silenced however. It was put forward and carried in another 
form, by a proviso that members of the Assembly and Senate should be 
elected on an arbitrary basis until the year 1865, and at that time the ques- 
tion should be submitted to a vote of the people whether their delegates in 
the Legislature should be apportioned on what was called the ' ' white basis " 
or the "mixed basis." The first provided that members of the Legisla- 
ture should be apportioned according to the number of white inhabitants; 
the second, that they should be apportioned according to both property 
and inhabitants. The eastern members believed that in 1865 the vote of 


the State would favor the mixed basis, and thus the property qualification 
would again be in force, although not in exactly the same form as before. 

The proceedings of the convention had not advanced far when it be- 
came apparent that a sentiment in that body was in favor of electing many 
or all of the County and State officers. The sentiment favoring electing 
judges was particularly strong. Prior to that time the judges in Virginia 
had been chosen by the Legislature or appointed by the Governor, who was 
a creature of the Legislature. The members from Western Virginia, under 
the leadership of Mr. Willey, were in favor of electing the judges. It was 
more in conformity with the principles of republican government that the 
power which selected the makers of laws should also select the interpreters 
of those laws, and also those whose duty it is to execute the laws. The 
power of the people was thus increased, and with increase of power there 
was an increase also in their responsibility. Both are wholesome stimu- 
lants for the citizens of a commonwealth who are rising to new ideas and 
higher principles. The constitution of 1850 is remarkable for the general 
advance embodied in it. The experience of nearly half a century has shown 
that many improvements could be made, but at the time it was adopted its 
landmarks were set on higher ground. But as yet the idea that the State 
is the greatest beneficiary from the education of the people, and that it is 
the duty of the State to provide free schools for this purpose, had not 
gained sufficient footing to secure so much as an expression in its favor in 
the constitution of 1850. 

The work of the convention was completed, and at an election held for 
the purpose in 1852 it was ratified and became the foundation for State gov- 
ernment in Virginia. The Bill of Rights, passed in 1776 and adopted with- 
out change as a preamble or introduction to the constitution of 1830, was 
amended in several particulars and prefixed to the constitution of 1850. The 
constitution of 1830 required voting by viva voce, without exception. That 
of 1850 made an exception in favor of deaf and dumb persons. But for all 
other persons the ballot was forbidden. The property qualification for suf- 
frage was not placed in the constitution. Although a provision was made 
to foist a property clause on the State to take effect in 1865, the great and 
unexpected change made by the Civil War before the year 1865 rendered 
this provision of no force. The leading features of the "mixed basis" and 
"white basis," as contemplated by the constitution, were: In 1865 the peo- 
ple, by vote, were to decide whether the members of the State Senate and 
Lower House should be apportioned in accordance with the number of 
voters, without regard to property, or whether, in such apportionment, 
property should be represented. The former was called the white basis or 
suffrage basis; the latter mixed basis. Under the mixed basis the appor- 
tionment would be based on a ratio of the white inhabitants and of the 
amount of State taxes paid. Provision was made for the apportionment of 
Senators on one basis and members of the Lower House on the other, if the 
voters should so decide. The members of the convention from West Vir- 
ginia did not like the mixed basis, but the clause making the provision for 
it went into the constitution in spite of them. They feared that the popu- 
lous and wealthy eastern counties would out-vote the counties beyond the 
Alleghanies and fasten the mixed basis upon the whole State. But West 
Virginia had separated from the old State before 1865 and never voted on 
that measure. There was a clause which went so far as to provide that the 


members of the Senate might be apportioned solely on the basis of taxa- 
tion, if the people so decided by vote. 

Under the constitution free negroes were not permitted to reside in Vir- 
ginia unless free at the time the constitution went into effect. Slaves there- 
after manumitted forfeited their freedom by remaining twelve months in 
the State. Provision was made for enslaving them again. 

For the first time in the history of the State the Governor was to be 
elected by the people. He had before been appointed by the Legislature. 
County officers, clerks, sheriff, prosecuting attorney and surveyor, were now 
to be elected by the people. The county court, composed of not less than 
three or more than five justices of the peace, held sessions monthly, and 
had enlarged jurisdiction. This arrangement was not consistent with the 
advance made in other branches of County and State government as pro- 
vided for in the constitution. That county court was not satisfactory," and 
even after West Virginia became a State, it did not at first rid itself of the 
tribunal which had out-lived its usefulness. But after a number of years a 
satisfactory change was made by the new State. Under Virginia's consti- 
tution of 1350 the Auditor, Treasurer and Secretary were selected by the 

The first constitution of West Virginia was a growth rather than a crea- 
tion by a body of men in one convention. The history of that constitution 
is a part of the history of the causes leading up to and the events attending 
the creation of a new State from the counties in the western part of Vir- 
ginia, which had refused to follow the old State when it seceded from the 
Union. Elsewhere in this volume will be found a narrative of the acts by 
which the new State was formed. The present chapter will consider only 
those movements and events directly related to the first constitution. 

The efforts of the Northern States to keep slavery from spreading to 
new territory, and the attempts of the South to introduce it into the West; 
the passage of laws by the Northern States by which they refused to deliver 
runaway slaves to their masters; decisions of courts in conflict with the 
wishes of one or the other of the great parties to the controversy; and other 
acts or doctrines favorable to one or the other, all entered into the presi- 
dential campaign of 1860 and gave that contest a bitterness unknown before 
or since in the history of American politics. For many years the South 
had been able to carry its points by the ballot-box or by statesmanship, but 
in 1860 the power was slipping away, and the North was in the ascendancy 
with its doctrines of no further extension of slavery. There were four can- 
didates in the field, and the Republicans elected Abraham Lincoln. Had 
the Southern States accepted the result, acquiesced in the limitation of 
slavery within those States wherein it already had an undisputed foothold, 
the Civil War would not have occurred at that time, and perhaps never. 
Slavery would have continued years longer. But the rashness of the South- 
ern States hastened the crisis, and in its result slavery was stamped out. 
South Carolina led the revolt by a resolution December 20, 1860, by which 
that State seceded from the Union. Other Southern States followed, 
formed "The Confederate States of America," and elected Jefferson Davis 

Virginia, as a State, went with the South, but the people of the western 
part, when confronted with the momentous question, ' ' Choose ye this day 
whom ye will serve," chose to remain citizens of the United States. Gov- 
ernor Letcher, of Virginia, called an extra session of the Legislature to 


meet January 7, 1861, to consider public affairs. The Legislature passed a 
bill calling a convenion of the people of Virginia, whose delegates were to 
be elected February 4, to meet in Richmond, February 13, 1861. A substi- 
tute for this bill, offered in the Lower House of the Legislature, providing 
that a vote of the people of the State should be taken on the question of 
calling the convention, was defeated. The convention was thus convened 
without the consent of the people, a thing which had never before been 
done in Virginia. 

Delegates were chosen for Western Virginia. They were nearly all 
opposed to secession and worked to defeat it in the convention. Finding 
their efforts in vain, they returned home^ some of them escaping many 
dangers and overcoming much difficulty on the way. The action of the 
Virginia Convention was kept secret for some time, while State troops and 
troops from other States were seizing United States arsenals and other 
government property in Virginia. But when the delegates returned to their 
homes in Western Virginia with the news that Virginia had joined the 
Southern Confederacy there was much excitement and a widespread deter- 
mination among the people not to be transferred to the Confederacy. 
Meetings were held, delegates were chosen to a convention in Wheeling to 
meet June 11 for the purpose of re-organizing the government of Virginia. 

Owing to the peculiar circumstances in which the State of Virginia was 
placed, part in and part out of the Southern Confederacy, the constitution 
of 1850 did not apply to the case, and certainly did not authorize the re-or- 
ganization of the State Government in the manner in which it was about to 
be done. No constitution and no statute had ever been framed to meet such 
an emergency. The proceeding undertaken by the Wheeling convention 
was authorized by no written law, and so far as the statutes of the State 
contemplated such a condition, they forbade it. But, as the gold which 
sanctified the Temple was greater than the Temple, so men who make the 
law are greater than the law. The principle is dangerous when acted upon 
by bad men, but patriots may, in a crisis which admits of no delay, be a law 
unto themselves. The people of Western Virginia saw the storm, saw the 
only salvation, and with promptness they seized the helm and made for the 

The constitution of Virginia did not apply. The Wheeling Convention 
passed an ordinance for the government of the re-organized State. This 
ordinance could scarcely be called a constitution, yet it was a good tempo- 
rary substitute for one. It authorized the convention to appoint a Governor 
and Lieutenant Governor to serve until their successors were elected and 
qualified. They were to administer the existing laws of Virginia. The 
General Assembly was called to meet in Wheeling, where it was to provide 
for the election of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The capital of 
Virginia was thus changed from Richmond to Wheeling, so far as that con- 
vention could change it. The Senators and Assemblymen who had been 
chosen at the preceding election were to constitute the Legislature. A 
Council of Five was appointed by the convention to assist the Governor in 
the discharge of his duties. An allusion to the State Constitution, made in 
this ordinance, shows that the convention considered the Virginia Consti- 
tution of 1850 still in force, so far as it was applicable to the changed condi- 
tions. There was no general and immediate change of county and district 
officers provided for, but an oath was required of them that they would sup- 
port the Constitution of the United States. Provision was made for remov- 


ing from office such as refused to take the oath, and for appointing others 
in their stead. 

Under and by virtue of this ordinance the convention elected Francis 
H. Pierpont Governor of Virginia, Daniel Polsley Lieutenant Governor, and 
James S. Wheat Attorney General. Provision having been made by the 
General Assembly which met in Wheeling for an election of delegates to 
frame a constitution for the State of West Virginia, provided a vote of the 
people should be in favor of a new State, and the election having shown 
that a new State was desired, the delegates to the Constitutional Conven- 
tion assembled in Wheeling November 26, 1861. The purpose at first had 
not been to form a new State, but to re-organize and administer the govern- 
ment of Virginia. But the sentiment in favor of a new State was strong, 
and resulted in the assemblimg of a convention to frame a constitution. The 
list of delegates were, Gordon Batelle, Ohio County; Richard L. Brooks, 
Upshur; James H. Brown, Kanawha; John J. Brown, Preston; John Bogs:s, 
Pendleton; W. W. Brumfielcl, Wayne; E. H. Caldwell, Marshall; Thomas R. 
Carskadon, Hampshire; James S. Cassady, Payette; H. D. Chapman, Roane; 
Richard M. Cooke, Mercer; Henry Dering, Monongalia; John A. Dille, Pres- 
ton; Abijah Dolly, Hardy; D. W. Gibson, Pocahontas; S. F. Griffith, Mason; 
Stephen M. Hansley, Raleigh; Robert Hogar, Boone; Ephraim B. Hall, 
Marion; John Hall, Mason; Thomas W. Harrison, Harrison; Hiram Hay- 
mond, Marion; James Hervey, Brooke; J. P. Hoback, McDowell; Joseph 
Hubbs, Pleasants; Robert Irvine, Lewis; Daniel Lamb, Ohio; R. W. Lauck, 
Wetzel; E. S. Mahon, Jackson; A. W. Mann, Greenbrier; John R. McCutch- 
eon, Nicholas; Dudley S. Montague, Putnam; Emmett J. O'Brien, Barbour; 
Granville Parker, Cabell; James W. Parsons, Tucker; J. W. Paxton, Ohio; 
David S. Pinnell, Upshur; Joseph S. Pomeroy, Hancock; John M. Powell, 
Harrison; Job Robinson, Calhoun; A. F. Ross, Ohio; Lewis Ruffner, Kana- 
wha; Edward W. Ryan, Fayette; George W. Sheets, Hampshire; Josiah 
Simmons, Randolph; Harmon Sinsel, Taylor; Benjamin H. Smith, Logan; 
Abraham D. Soper, Tyler; Benjamin L. Stephenson, Clay; William E. Steven- 
son, Wood; Benjamin F. Stewart, Wirt; Chapman J. Stewart, Doddridge; 
G. F. Taylor, Braxton; M. Titchenell, Marion; Thomas H. Trainer, Mar- 
shall; Peter G. Van Winkle, Wood; William Walker, Wyoming; William W. 
Warder, Gilmer; Joseph S. Wheat, Morgan; Waitman T. Willey, Mononga- 
lia; A. J. Wilson, Ritchie; Samuel Young, Pocahontas. 

There were two sessions of this convention, the first in the latter part 
of 1861, the second beginning February 12, 1863. The constitution was 
completed at the first session, as was supposed, but when the question of 
admitting the State into the Union was before Congress that body required 
a change of one section regarding slavery, and the convention was re-con- 
vened and made the necessary change. 

When the convention assembled November 15, 1861, it set about its 
task. The first intention was to name the new State Kanawha, but there 
being objections to this, the name of Augusta was suggested; then Alle- 
ghany, Western Virginia, and finally the name West Virginia was chosen. 
Selecting a name for the new State was not the most difficult matter before 
the convention. Very soon the question of slavery came up. The senti- 
ment against that institution was not strong enough to exclude it from the 
State. No doubt a majority of the people would have voted to exclude it, 
but there was a strong element not yet ready to dispense with slavery, and 
a division on that question was undesirable at that time. Accordingly, the 


constitution dismissed the slavery question with the provision that no slave 
should be brought into the State nor free negroes come into the State after 
the adoption of the constitution. Before the constitution was submitted to 
a vote of the people it was changed to provide for the emancipation of slaves. 

The new constitution had a provision which was never contained in the 
constitutions of Virginia; it affirmed that West Virginia shall remain a mem- 
ber of the United States. When this constitution was framed it did not 
regard Hampshire, Hardy, Pendleton and Morgan as parts of the State, but 
provided that they might become parts of West Virginia if they voted in 
favor of adopting the constitution. They so voted and thus came into the 
State. The same provision was made in regard to Frederick County, but it 
chose to remain a portion of Virginia. It was declared that there should 
be freedom of the press and of speech, and the law of libel was given a lib- 
eral interpretation and was rendered powerless to curtail the freedom of the 
press. It was provided that in suits of libel the truth could be given in 
evidence, and if it appeared that the matter charged as libelous was true, 
and was published with good intentions, the judgement should be for the 
defendant in the suit. The days of viva voce voting were past. The con- 
stitution provided that all voting should be by ballot. The Legislature was 
required to meet every year. 

A clause was inserted declaring that no person who had aided or abet- 
ted the Southern Confederacy should become citizens of the State unless 
such persons had subsequently volunteered in the army or the navy of the 
United States. This measure seems harsh when viewed from after years, 
when the passions kindled by the Civil War have cooled and the prejudice 
and hatred have become things of the past. It must be remembered that 
the constitution came into existence during the war. The better judgment 
of the people at a later day struck out that clause. But at the worst the 
measure was only one of retaliation, in remembrance of the tyranny recently 
shown within this State toward loyal citizens and office-holders by sympa 
thizers of the Southern Confederacy. The overbearing spirit of the politi- 
cians of Richmond found its echo west of the Alleghanies. Horace Greeley 
had been deterred from delivering a lecture in Wheeling on the issues of 
the day, because his lecture contained references to the slavery question. 
In Ohio County, at that time, those who opposed slavery were in the ma- 
jority, but not in power. There were not fifty slave- holders in the county. 
Horace Greeley was indicted in Harrison County because he had caused the 
Tribune, his newspaper, to be circulated there. The agent of the Tribune 
fled from the State to escape arrest. Postmasters, acting, as they claimed, 
under the laws of Virginia, refused to deliver to subscribers such papers as 
the New York Tribune and the New York Christian Advocate. A Baptist 
minister who had taught colored children in Sunday school was for that act 
ostracized and he left Wheeling. Newsdealers .in Wheeling were afraid to 
keep on their shelves a statistical book written by a North Carolinian, be- 
cause it treated of slavery in its economic aspect. Dealers were threatened 
with indictment if they handled the book. Cassius Clay, of Kentucky, was 
threatened with violence for coming to Wheeling to deliver a lecture which 
he had delivered in his own State. The newspapers of Richmond reproached 
Wheeling for permitting such a paper as the Intelligencer to be published 

These instances of tyranny from Southern sympathizers are given, not 
so much for their value as simple history as to show the circumstances un- 


der which West Virginia's first constitution was made, and to give an in- 
sight into the partisan feeling which led to the insertion of the clause dis- 
franchising those who took part against the United States. Those who 
upheld the Union had in the meantime come into power, and in turn had 
become the oppressors. Retaliation is never right as an abstract proposi 
tion and seldom best as a political measure. An act of injustice should 
not be made a precedent or an excuse for a wrong perpetrated upon the 
authors of the unjust act. Time has done its part in committing to oblivion 
the hatred and the wrong which grew out of the Civil War. Under West 
Virginia's present constitution no man has lesser or greater political powers 
because he wore the blue or the grey. 

Representation in the State Senate and House of Delegates was in pro- 
portion to the number of people. The question of the ' ' white basis " or the 
"mixed basis," as contained in the Virginia constitution of 1850, no longer 
troubled West Virginia. Suffrage was extended until the people elected 
their officers, State, County and District, including all judges. 

The constitution provided for free schools, and authorized the setting 
apart of an irreduceable fund for that purpose. The fund is derived from 
the sale of delinquent lands; from grants and devises, the proceeds of estates 
of persons who die without will or heirs; money paid for exemption from 
military duty; such sums as the Legislature may appropriate, and from 
other sources. This is invested in United States or State securities, and 
the interest is annually appropriated to the support of the schools. The 
principal must not be expended. 

The constitution was submitted to the people for ratification in April, 
1863, and the vote in favor of it was 18,862, and against it 514. Jefferson 
and Berkeley Counties did not vote. They had not been represented in the 
convention which formed the constitution. With the close of the war Vir- 
ginia claimed them and West Virginia claimed them. The matter was 
finally settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1870, in favor 
of West Virginia. It was at one time considered that the counties of North- 
ampton and Accomack on the eastern shore of Virginia belonged to the new 
State of West Virginia, because they had sent delegates to the Wheeling 
Convention for the reorganization of the State government. It was once 
proposed that these two counties be traded to Maryland in exchange for the 
two western counties in that State which were to be added to West Virginia, 
but the trade was not consummated. 

Under the constitution of 1863 the State of West Virginia was governed 
nine years, and there was general prosperity. But experience demonstra- 
ted that many of the provisions of the constitution were not perfect. 
Amendments and improvements were suggested from time to time, and 
there gradually grew up a strong sentiment in favor of a new constitution. 
On February 23, 1871, a call was issued for an election of delegates to a 
constitutional convention. The election was held in August of that year, 
and in January, 1872, the delegates met in Charleston and began the work. 
They completed it in a little less than three months. 

The following delegates were elected by the various senatorial and 
assembly districts of the State: Brooke County, Alexander Campbell, 
William K. Pendleton; Boone, William D. Pate; Braxton, Homer A. Holt; 
Berkeley, Andrew W. McCleary, C. J. Faulkner, John Blair Hoge; Barbour, 
Samuel Woods, J. N. B. Crhn; Clay, B. W. Byrne; Calhoun, Lemuel Stump; • 
Cabell, Bvermont Ward, Thomas Thornburg; Doddridge, Jeptha F. Ran- 


dolph; Fayette, Hudson M. Dickinson; Greenbrier, Henry M. Mathews, 
Samuel Price; Harrison, Bejamin Wilson, Beverly H. Lurty, John Bassel; 
Hampshire, J. D. Armstrong, Alexander Monroe; Hardy, Thomas Maslin; 
Hancock, John H. Atkinson; Jefferson, William H. Travers, Logan Osburn, 
William A. Morgan; Jackson, Thomas R. Park; Kanawha, John A. Warth, 
Edward B. Knight, Nicholas Pitzhugh; Lewis, Mathew Edmiston, Black- 
well Jackson; Logan, M. A. Staton; Morgan, Lewis Allen; Monongalia, 
Waitman T. Willey, Joseph Snider, J. Marshall Hagans; Marion, U. N. Ar- 
nett, Alpheus P. Haymond, Fountain Smith; Mason, Charles B. Waggener, 
Alonzo Cushing; Mercer, Isaiah Bee, James Calfee; Mineral, John A. Rob- 
inson, John T. Pearce; Monroe, James M. Byrnsides, William Haynes; Mar- 
shall, James M. Pipes, J. W. Gallaher, Hanson Criswell; Ohio, George O. 
Davenport, William W. Miller, A. J. Pawnell, James S. Wheat; Putnam, 
John J. Thompson; Pendleton, Charles D. Boggs; Pocahontas, George H. 
Moffett; Preston, William G. Brown, Charles Kantner; Pleasants, W. G. H. 
Care; Roane, Thomas Ferrell; Ritchie, Jacob P. Strickler; Randolph, J. F. 
Harding; Raleigh, William Price, William McCreery; Taylor, A. H. Thayer, 
Benjamin F. Martin; Tyler, Daniel D. Johnson, David S. Pugh; Upshur, D. 
D. T. Farnsworth; Wirt, D. A. Roberts, David H. Leonard; Wayne, Charles 
W. Ferguson; Wetzel, Septimus Hall; Wood, James M. Jackson, Okey 

The new constitution of West Virginia enters much more fully into the 
ways and means of government than any other constitution Virginia or 
West Virginia had known. It leaves less for the courts to interpret and 
decide than any of the former constitutions. The details are elaborately 
worked out, and the powers and duties of the three departments of State 
government, the Legislative, Judicial and Executive, are stated in so pre- 
cise terms that there can be little ground for controversy as to what the 
constitution means. The terms of the State officers were increased to four 
years, and the Legislature's sessions were changed from yearly to once in 
two years. A marked change in the tone of the constitution regarding per- 
sons who took part in the Civil War against the government is noticeable. 
Not only is the clause in the former constitution disfranchising those who 
took part in the Rebellion not found in the new constitution, but in its stead 
is a clause which repudiates, in express terms, the sentiment on this sub- 
ject in the former constitution. It is stated that " political tests requiring 
persons, as a pre-requisite to the enjoyment of their civil and political 
rights, to purge themselves, by their own oaths, of past alleged offenses, 
are repugnant to the principles of free government, and are cruel and op- 
pressive." The ex-Confederates and those who sympathized with and 
assisted them in their war against the United States could have been as 
effectively restored to their rights by a simple clause to that effect as by the 
one employed, which passes judgment upon a part of the former constitu- 
tion. The language on this subject in the new constitution may, therefore, 
be taken as the matured judgment and as an expression of the purer con- 
ception of justice by the people of West Virginia when the passions of the 
war had subsided, and when years had given time for reflection. It is pro- 
vided, also, that no person who aided or participated in the Rebellion shall 
be liable to any proceedings, civil or criminal, for any act done by him in 
accordance with the rules of civilized warfare. It was provided in the con- 
stitution of Virginia that ministers and priests should not be eligible to seats 
in the Legislature. West Virginia's new constitution broke down the bar- 


rier against a worthy and law-abiding class of citizens. It is provided that 
"all men shall be free to profess, and, by argument, to maintain their opin- 
ions in matters of religion, and the same shall in no wise affect, diminish or 
enlarge their civil capacities. " 

A change was made in the matter of investing the State School Fund. 
The first constitution authorized its investment in United States or West 
Virginia State securities only. The new constitution provided that it might 
be invested in other solvent securities, provided United States or this 
State's securities cannot be had. The provision for courts did not meet 
general approval .is left by the constitution, aud this dissatisfaction at 
length led to an amendment which was voted upon October 12, 1880, and 
was ratified by a vote of 57,941 for, to 34,270 against. It provides that the 
Supreme Court of Appeals shall consist of four judges who shall hold office 
twelve years, and they and all other judges and justices in the State'shall 
be elected by the people. There shall be thirteen circuit judges, and they 
must hold at least three terms of court in every county of the State each 
year. Their tenure of office is eight years. The county court was remod- 
eled. It no longer consists of justices of the peace, nor is its power as 
large as formerly. It is composed of three commissioners whose term of 
office is six years. Four regular terms of court are held yearly. The pow- 
ers and duties of the justices of the peace are clearly defined. No county 
shall have fewer than three justices nor more than twenty. Each county 
is divided into districts, not fewer than three nor more than ten in number. 
Each district has one justice, and if its population is more than twelve hun- 
dred it is entitled to two. They hold office four years. 

There is a provision in the constitution that any county may change its 
county court if a majority of the electors vote to do so, after the forms laid 
down by law have been complied with. It is left to the people, in such a 
case, to decide what shall be the nature of the tribunal which takes the 
place of the court of commissioners. 

The growth of the idea of liberty and civil government in a century, as 
expressed in the Bill of Rights and the Virginia Constitution of 1776, and 
as embodied in the subsequent constitutions of 1830, 1850, 1863 and 1872, 
shows that the most sanguine expectations of the statesmen of 1776 have 
been realized and surpassed in the present time. The right of suffrage has 
been extended beyond anything dreamed of a century ago, and it has been 
demonstrated that the people are capable of understanding and enjoying 
their enlarged liberty. The authors of Virginia's first constitution believed 
that it was unwise to entrust the masses with the powers of government. 
Therefore the chief part taken by the people in their own government was 
in the selection of their Legislature. All other State, County and District 
offices were filled by appointments or by elections by the Legislature. 
Limited as was the exercise of suffrage, it was still further restricted by a 
property qualification which disfranchised a large portion of the people. 
Yet this liberty was so great in comparison with that enjoyed while under 
England's colonial government that the people were satisfied for a long 
time. But finally they demanded enlarged rights and obtained them. When 
they at length realized that they governed themselves, and were not gov- 
erned by others, they speedily advanced in the science of government. The 
property qualification was abolished. The doctrine that wealth is the 
true source of political power was relegated to the past. From that it was 
but a step for the people to exercise a right which they had long suffered 


others to hold — that of electing all their officers. At first they did not elect 
their own governor, and as late as 1850 they acquiesced, though somewhat 
reluctantly, in the doctrine that they could not be trusted to elect their own 
judges. But they have thrown all this aside now, and their officers are of 
their own selection; and no man, because he is poor, if capable of self-sup- 
port, is denied an equal voice in government with that exercised by the 
most wealthy. Men, not wealth; intelligence, not force, are the true sources 
of our political power. 




The attempt of John BroAvn to free the slaves; his seizure of the United 
States Armory at Harper's Ferry; his capture, trial and execution, form a 
page in West Virginia's history iu which the whole country, and in a lesser 
degree the whole civilized world, felt an interest at the time of its occur- 
rence; and that interest will long continue. The seizure of the Govern- 
ment property at that place by an ordinary mob would have created a stir; 
but the incident would have lost its interest in a short time, and at a short 
distance from the scene of disturbance. But Brown's accomplices were no 
ordinary mob; and the purpose in view gave his attempt its great impor- 
tance. In fact, much more importance was attached to the raid than it 
deserved. Viewed in the light of history, it is plain that Brown could not 
have freed many slaves, nor could he have caused any wide-spread uprising 
among them. The military resources of the Government, or even of the 
State of Virginia, were sufficient to stamp out in short order any attempted 
insurrection at that time. There were not enough people willing and ready 
to assist the attempt. There were too many willing and ready to put it 
down. Brown achieved about as much success as he could reasonably 
expect, and his attempt at emancipating slaves ran its logical course. But 
the extreme sensitiveness of the slave holders and their fears that aboli- 
tionists would incite an uprising, caused Brown's bold dash to be given an 
importance at the time far beyond what it deserved. 

John Brown was a man of great courage; not easily excited; cool and 
calculating; not bloodthirsty, but willing to take the life of any one who 
stood between him and the accomplishment of his purpose. He has been 
very generally regarded as a fanatic, who had followed an idea until he 
became a monomaniac. It is difficult to prove this view of him to be incor- 
rect; yet, without doubt, his fanaticism was of a superior and unusual kind. 
The dividing line between fanatics and the highest order of reformers, those 
who live before their time, who can see the light touching the peaks beyond 
the valleys and shadows in which other men are walking, is not always 
clearly marked. It is not for us to say to which class of men Brown 
belonged; and certainly it is not given us to set him among the blind 
fanatics. If he must be classified, we run less risk of error if we place him 
with those whose prophetic vision outstrips their physical strength; with 
the sentinel on the watch tower of Sier, of whom Isaiah speaks. 

What he hoped to accomplish, and died in an attempt to accomplish, 
was brought about in less than five years from his death. If he failed to 
free the slaves, they were speedily freed by that sentiment of which he was 
an extreme representative. It cannot be said that Brown's efforts were the 


immediate, nor even the remote, cause which emancipated the black race in 
the United States; but beyond doubt the affair at Harper's Ferry had a 
powerful influence in two directions, either of which worked toward email: 
cipation. The one influence operated in the North upon those who desired 
emancipation, stimulating them to renewed efforts; the other influence had 
its effect among the Southern slave owners, kindling their anger and their 
fear, and urging them to acts by which they hoped to strengthen their grip 
upon the institution of slavery, but which led them to war against the 
Government, and their hold on slavery was shaken loose forever. John 
Brown was born in Connecticut, went to Kansas with his family and took 
part in the contention in that state which occurred between the slave fac- 
tion and those opposed to the spread of slavery. Brown affiliated with the 
latter and fought in more than one armed encounter. He was one of the 
boldest leaders, fearless in fight, stubborn in defense, and relentless in 
pursuit. He hated slavery with an inappeasable hatred. He belonged to 
the party in the North called Abolitionists, whose avowed object was to 
free the slaves. He was perhaps more radical than the majority of that 
radical party. They hoped to accomplish their purpose by creating a sen- 
timent in its favor. Brown appears to have been impatient at this slow 
process. He believed in uniting force and argument, and he soon became 
the leader of that wing of the Ultra Abolitionists. On May 8, 1858, a secret 
meeting was held in Chatham, Canada, which was attended by delegates 
from different states, and from Canada. The object was to devise means of 
freeing the slaves. It is not known exactly what the proceedings of the 
meeting were, except that a constitution was outlined for the United States, 
or for such states as might be taken possession of. Brown was comman- 
der-in-chief; one of his companions named Kagi was secretary of war. 
Brown issued several military commissions. 

Harper's Ferry was selected as the point for the uprising. It was to 
be seized and held as a place of rendezvous for slaves from Maryland and 
Virginia, and when a sufficient number had assembled there they were to 
march under arms across Maryland into Pennsylvania and there disperse. 
The negroes were to be armed with tomahawks and spears, they not being 
sufficiently acquainted with firearms to use them. It was believed that the 
slaves would eagerly grasp the opportunity to gain their freedom, and that 
the movement, begun at one point, would spread and grow until slavery 
was stamped out. Brown no doubt incorrectly estimated the sentiment in 
the North in favor of emancipation by force of arms. In company with his 
two sons, Watson and Oliver, Brown rented a farm near Sharpsburg, in 
Maryland, from Dr. Kennedy. This was within a few miles of Harper's 
Ferry, and was used as a gathering point for Brown's followers, and as a 
place of concealment for arms. Brown represented that his name was 
Anderson. He never had more than twenty-two men about the farm. 
From some source in the East, never certainly ascertained, arms were 
shipped to Brown, under the name of J. Smith & Son. The boxes were 
double, so that no one could suspect their contents. In this manner he 
received two hundred and ninety Sharp's rifles, two hundred Maynard 
revolvers and one thousand spears and tomahawks. Brown expected from 
two thousand to five thousand men, exclusive of slaves, to rise at his word 
and come to his assistance. In this he was mistaken. He knew that 
twenty-two men could not hold Harper's Ferry, and without doubt he calcu- 
lated, and expected even to the last hour before capture, that his forces 


would rally to his assistance. When he found that they had not done so, 
he concluded that the blow had been struck too soon. 

About ten o'clock on the night of October 16, 1859, with seventeen 
white men and five negroes, Brown proceeded to Harper's Ferry, over- 
powered the sentry on the bridge, seized the United States arsenal, in 
which were stored arms sufficient to equip an army, took several persons 
prisoner and confined them in the armory; visited during the night some of 
the farmers in the vicinity, took them prisoner and declared freedom to 
their slaves; cut the telegraph wires leading from Harper's Ferry; seized 
an eastbound train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but subsequently 
let it proceed, after announcing that no other train would be permitted to 
pass through Harper's Ferry. 

The people in the town knew nothing of what was taking place -until 
daybreak. At that time a negro porter at the railroad station was shot and 
killed because he refused to join the insurgents, and an employe at the 
armory was shot at when he refused to be taken prisoner. A merchant 
witnessed the shooting, and fired from his store at one of Brown's men. 
He missed, but was shot dead in return. When workmen belonging to the 
armory appeared at the hour for beginning their daily labors they were 
arrested and confined in one of the Government buildings as a prison. The 
village was now alarmed. The mayor of the town, Fontaine Beckham, and 
Captain George Turner, formerly of the United States Army, appeared on 
the scene, and were fired upon and killed. The wires, having been cut, 
news of the insurrection was slow in reaching the surrounding country; but 
during the forenoon telegrams were sent from the nearest offices. The 
excitement throughout the South was tremendous. The people there 
believed that a gigantic uprising of the slaves was at hand. The meagre 
information concerning the exact state of affairs at Harper's Ferry caused 
it to be greatly over estimated. At Washington the sensation amounted to 
a shock. General Robert E. Lee was ordered to the scene at once with one 
hundred marines. 

Military companies began to arrive at Harper's Ferry from neighboring 
towns. The first upon the scene was Colonel Baylor's company from 
Charlestown. Shortly afterwards two companies arrived from Martins - 
burg. A desultory fire was kept up during the day, in which several per- 
sons were killed. An assault on one of the buildings held by Brown was 
successfully made by the militia. Four of the insurgents were killed and a 
fifth was made prisoner. Brown and the remainder of his men took refuge 
in the engine house at the armory, except four who fled and escaped to 
Pennsylvania. Two of them were subsequently captured. Two of Brown's 
men came out to hold a parley and were shot and taken prisoner. One was 
killed in revenge for the death of Mayor Beckham; the other was subse- 
quently tried, convicted and hanged. About three o'clock in the afternoon 
of October 17, about twenty railroad men made a dash at the engine house, 
broke down the door and killed two of Brown's men. But they were 
repulsed with seven of their number wounded. 

Before sunset there were more than one thousand men in Harper's 
Ferry under arms, having come in from the surrounding country; but no 
further assault was made on Brown's position that day for fear of killing 
the men whom he held prisoner in the building with him. That night R. 
E. Lee arrived from Washington with one hundred marines and two pieces 
of artillery. Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart was with him. Early Tuesday 


morning, October 18, Stuart was sent to demand an unconditional surren- 
der, promising only that Brown and his men should be protected from 
immediate violence, and should have a trial under the laws of the country. 
Brown refused to accept these terms, but demanded that he and his men be 
permitted to march out with their prisoners, cross the Potomac unpursued. 
They would then free their prisoners and would escape if they could; if not 
they would fight. Of course Stuart did not accept this offier. Preparations 
were made for an attack. The marines brought up a heavy ladder, and 
using it as a battering ram, broke open the door of the engine house and 
rushed in. Brown and his men fought till killed or overpowered. The 
first man who entered, named Quinn, was killed. Brown was stabbed twice 
with bayonets and then cut down by a sabre stroke. All of his men but two 
were killed or wounded. These were taken prisoner. Of the whole band 
of twenty-two, ten white men and three negroes were killed; three white 
men were wounded; two had made their escape; all the others were cap- 

It was believed that Brown's injuries would prove fatal in a few hours, 
but he rallied. Within the next few days he was indicted for murder, and 
for treason against the United States. In his case the customary interval 
did not elapse between his indictment and his trial. He was captured 
October 18, and on October 26 his case was called for trial in the county 
court at Charlestown, in Jefferson County. Brown's attorney asked for a 
continuance on the ground that the defendant was physically unable to 
stand trial. The motion for a continuance was denied, and the trial pro- 
ceeded. Brown reclined on a cot, being unable to sit. The trial was 
extremely short, considering the importance of the case. Within less than 
three days the jury had brought in a verdict of guilty, and Brown was sen- 
tenced to be hanged December 16. Executive clemency was sought. 
Under the law of Virginia at that time the Governor was forbidden to grant 
pardon to any one convicted of treason except with the consent of the 
Assembly. Governor Henry A. Wise notified the Assembly of Brown's 
application for pardon. That body passed a resolution, December 7, by 
which it refused to interfere in Brown's behalf, and he died on the scaffold 
at the appointed time. Six of his companions were executed, four on the 
same day with their leader, and two in the following March. 

The remains of Brown were taken to North Elba, New York, where 
Wendell Phillips pronounced a eulogy. Perhaps Brown contributed more 
to the emancipation of slaves by his death than by his life. 




Although West Virginia at the time was a part of Virginia, it refused 
to go with the majority of the people of that State in seceding from the 
United States and joining the Southern Confederacy. The circumstances 
attending that refusal constitute an important chapter in the history of 
West Virginia. Elsewhere in this book, in speaking of the constitution of 
this and the mother State, reference is made to the diffex - ences in sentiment 
and interests between the people west of the Alleghanies and those east of 
that range. The Ordinance of Secession was the rock upon which Virginia 
was broken in twain. It was the occasion of the west's separating from the 
east. The territory which ought to have been a separate State at the time 
Kentucky became one seized the opportunity of severing the jjolitical ties 
which had long bound it to the Old Dominion. After the war Virginia in- 
vited the new State to reunite with it, but a polite reply was sent that West 
Virginia preferred to retain its statehood. The sentiment in favor of sep- 
aration did not spring up at once. It had been growing for three-quarters 
of a century. Before the close of the Revolutionary War the subject had 
attracted such attention that a report on the subject was made by a com- 
mittee in Congress. But many years before that time a movement for a 
new State west of the Alleghanies had been inaugurated by George Wash- 
ington, Benjamin Franklin and others, some of whom were interested in 
land on the Kanawha and elsewhere. The new State was to be named Van- 
dalia, and the capital was to be at the mouth of the Great Kanawha.* The 
movement for a new State really began there, and never afterwards slept; 
and finally, in 1863, it was accomplished, after no less than ninety-three 
years of agitation. 

The Legislature of Virginia met in extra session January 7, 1861. The 
struggle had begun. The Confederates had not yet opened their batteries 
on Fort Sumpter, but the South had plainly spoken its defiance. The 
Southern Confederacy was forming. The elements of resistance were get- 
ting together. The storm of war was about to break upon the country. 
States further South had seceded or had decided to do so. Virginia had 
not yet decided. Its people were divided. The State hesitated. If it joined 
the Confederacy it would be the battle ground in the most gigantic war the 
world ever saw. It was the gateway by which the armies of the North 
would invade the South. Some affected to believe, perhaps some did be- 
lieve, that there would be no war; that the South would not be invaded; 
that the North would not go beyond argument. But the people of better 
judgment foresaw the storm and they knew where it would break. The 
final result no man foresaw. Many hoped, many doubted, but at that time 


no man saw what four years would bring forth. Thus Virginia hesitated 
long before she cast her fortunes with the States already organized to op- 
pose the government. When she took the fatal step; when she fought as 
only the brave can fight; when she was crushed by weight rather than van- 
quished, she accepted the result and emerged from the smoke of battle still 
great; and like Carthage of old, her splendor seemed only the more con- 
spicuous by the desolation which war had brought. 

The Virginia Legislature called a convention to meet at Richmond Feb- 
ruary 13, 1861. The time was short, but the crisis was at hand. The flame 
was kindling. Meetings were being held in all the eastern part of the State, 
and the people were nearly unanimous in their demand that the State join 
the Confederacy. At least few opposed this demand, but at that time it is 
probable that one-half of the people of the State opposed secession. The 
eastern part was in favor of it. West of the Alleghany Mountains the case 
was different. The mass of the people did not at once grasp the situation. 
They knew the signs of the times were strange; that currents were drifting 
to a center; but that war was at hand of gigantic magnitude, and that the 
State of Virginia was "choosing that day whom she would serve," were 
not clearly understood at the outset. But, as the great truth dawned and 
as its lurid light became brighter, West Virginia was not slow in choosing 
whom she would serve. The people assembled in their towns and a num- 
ber of meetings were held even before the convening of the special session 
of the Legislature, and there was but one sentiment expressed and that was 
loyalty to the government. Preston county held the first meeting, Novem- 
ber 12, 1860; Harrison County followed the twenty-sixth of the same month; 
two days later the people of Monongalia assembled to discuss and take 
measures; a similar gathering took place in Taylor County, December 4, and 
another in Wheeling ten days later; and on the seventh of the January fol- 
lowing there was a meeting in Mason County. 

On January 21 the Virginia Legislature declared by resolution that, 
unless the differences between the two sections of the country could be 
reconciled, it was Virginia's duty to join the Confederacy. That resolution 
went side by side with the call for an election of delegates to the Richmond 
Convention, which was to ' ' take measures. " The election was held Febru- 
ary 4, 1861, and nine days later the memorable convention assembled. Lit- 
tle time had been given for a campaign. Western Virginia sent men who 
were the peers of any from the eastern part of the State. The following 
delegates were chosen from the territory now forming West Virginia: Bar- 
bour County, Samuel Woods; Braxton and Nicholas, B. W. Byrne; Berke- 
ley, Edmund Pendleton and Allen C. Hammond; Brooke, Campbell Tarr; 
Cabell, William McComas; Doddridge and Tyler, Chapman J. Stuart; Fay- 
ette and Raleigh, Henry L. Gillespie; Greenbrier, Samuel Price; Gilmer and 
Wirt, C. B. Conrad; Hampshire, David Pugh and Edmund M. Armstrong; 
Hancock, George M. Porter; Harrison, John S. Carlile and Benjamin Wil- 
son; Hardy, Thomas Maslin; Jackson and Roane, Franklin P. Turner; Jef- 
ferson, Alfred M. Barbour and Logan Osburn; Kanawha, Spicer Patrick 
and George W. Summers; Lewis, Caleb Boggess; Logan, Boone and Wyom- 
ing, James Lawson; Marion, Ephraim B. Hall and Alpheus S. Haymond; 
Marshall, James Burley; Mason, James H. Crouch; Mercer, Napoleon B. 
French; Monongalia, Waitman T. Willey and Marshall M. Dent; Monroe, 
John Echols and Allen T. Caperton; Morgan, Johnson Orrick; Ohio, Ches- 
ter D. Hubbard and Sherard Clemens; Pocahontas, Paul McNeil; Preston, 


William G. Brown and James C. McGrew; Putnam, James W. Hoge; Ritchie, 
Cyrus Hall; Randolph and Tucker, J. N. Hughes; Taylor, John S. Burdette; 
Upshur, George W. Berlin; Wetzel, L. S. Hall; Wood, General John J. Jack- 
son; Wayne, Burwell Spurlock. 

When the convention met it was doubtful if a majority were in favor of 
Secession. At any rate the leaders in that movement, who had caused the 
convention to be called for that express purpose, appeared afraid to push 
the question to a vote, and from that day began the work which ultimately 
succeeded in winning over enough delegates, who at first were opposed to 
Secession, to carry the State into the Confederacy. 

There were forty-six delegates from the counties now forming West 
Virginia. Nine of these voted for the Ordinance of Secession, seven were 
absent, one was excused, and twenty-nine voted against it. The principal 
leaders among the West Virginia delegates who opposed Secession were J. 
C. McGrew, of Preston County; George W. Summers, of Kanawha County; 
General John J. Jackson, of Wood County; Chester D. Hubbard, of Ohio 
County, and Waitman T. Willey, of Monongalia County. Willey was the 
leader of the leaders. He employed all the eloquence of which he was mas- 
ter, and all the reason and logic he could command to check the rush into 
what he clearly saw was disaster. No man of feeble courage could have 
taken the stand which he took in that convention. The agents from the 
States which had already seceded were in Richmond urging the people to 
Secession. The convention held out for a month against the clamor, and 
so fierce became the populace that delegates who opposed Secession were 
threatened with personal assault and were in danger of assassination. The 
peril and the pressure induced many delegates to go over to the Confeder- 
acy. But the majority held out against Secession. In the front was Gen- 
eral John J. Jackson, one of West Virginia's most venerable citizens. He 
was of the material which never turns aside from danger. A cousin of 
Stonewall Jackson, he had seen active service in the field before Stonewall 
was born. He had fought the Seminoles in Florida, and had been a mem- 
ber of General Andrew Jackson's staff. He had been intrusted by the Gov- 
ernment with important and dangerous duties before he was old enough to 
vote. He had traversed the wilderness on horseback and alone between 
Florida and Kentucky, performing in this manner a circuitous journey of 
three thousand miles, much of it among the camps and over the hunting 
grounds of treacherous Indians. Innured to dangers and accustomed to 
peril, he was not the man to flinch or give ground. He stood up for the 
Union; spoke for it; urged the convention to pause on the brink of the abyss 
before taking the leap. Another determined worker in the famous conven- 
tion was Judge G. W. Sunnners, of Charleston. He was in the city of Wash- 
ington attending a "Peace Conference" when he received news that the 
people of Kanawha County had elected him a delegate to the Richmond 
Convention. He hurried to Richmond and opposed with all his powers the 
Ordinance of Secession. A speech which he delivered against that measure 
has been pronounced the most powerful heard in the convention. 

On March 2 Mr. Willey made a remarkable speech in the convention. 
He announced that his purpose was not to reply to the arguments of the 
disunionists, but to defend the right of free speech which Richmond, out of 
the halls of the convention and in, was trying to stifle by threats and deri- 
sion. He warned the people that when free speech is silenced liberty is no 
longer a realty, but a mere mockery. He then took up the Secession ques- 


tion, although he had not intended to do so when he began speaking, and 
he presented in so forcible a manner the arguments against Secession that 
he made a profound impression upon the convention. During the whole of 
that month the Secessionists were unable to carry their measure through. 
But when Fort Sumpter was fired on, and when the President of the United 
States called for 75,000 volunteers, the Ordinance of Secession passed, April 
17, 1861. 

The next day, April 18, a number of delegates from Western Virginia 
declared that they would not abide by the action of the convention. Amid 
the roar of Richmond run mad, they began to consult among themselves 
what course to pursue. On April 20 several of the West Virginians met in a 
bed-room of the Powhatan hotel and decided that nothing more could be 
done by them at Richmond to hinder or defeat the Secession movement. 
They agreed to return home and urge their constituents to vote against the 
Ordinance at the election set for May 24. They began to depart for their 
homes. Some had gotten safely out of Richmond and beyond the reach of 
the Confederates before it became known that the western delegates were 
leaving. Others were still in Richmond, and a plan was formed to keep 
them prisoners in the city — not in jail — but they were required to obtain 
passes from the Governor before leaving the city. It was correctly sur- 
mised that the haste shown by these delegates in taking their departure 
was due to their determination to stir up opposition to the Ordinance of 
Secession in the western part of the State. But when it was learned that 
most of the western delegates had already left Richmond it was deemed un- 
wise to detain the few who yet remained, and they were permitted to depart, 
which they did without loss of time. 

Before the people knew that an Ordinance of Secession had passed, the 
convention began to levy war upon the United States. Before the seal of 
secrecy had been removed from the proceedings of that body, large appro- 
priations for military purposes had been made. Officers were appointed; 
troops were armed; forts and arsenals belonging to the Government had 
been seized. The arsenal at Harper's Ferry and that at Norfolk had fallen 
before attacks of Virginia troops before the people of that State knew that 
they were no longer regarded as citizens of the United States. The con- 
vention still in secret session, without the knowledge or consent of the 
people of Virginia, had annexed that State to the Southern Confederacy. 
It was all done with the presumption that the people of the State would 
sustain the Ordinance of Secession when they had learned of its existence 
and when they were given an opportunity to vote upon it. The election 
came May 24, 1861 ; and before that day there were thirty thousand soldiers 
in the State east of the Alleghanies, and troops had been pushed across 
the mountains into Western Virginia. The majority of votes cast in the 
State were in favor of ratifying the Ordinance of Secession; but West Vir- 
ginia voted against it. Eastern Virginia was carried by storm. The 
excitement was intense. The cry was for war, if any attempt should be 
made to hinder Virginia's going into the Southern Confederacy. Many 
men whose sober judgment was opposed to Secesssion, were swept into it 
by their surroundings. 




The officers and visible government of Virginia abdicated when they 
joined the Southern Confederacy. The people reclaimed and resumed their 
sovereignty after it had been abdicated by their regularly constituted 
authorities. This right belongs to the people and can not be taken from 
them. A public servant is elected to keep and exercise this sovereignty in 
trust, but he can do no more. When he ceases doing this the sovereignty 
returns whence it came — to the people. When Virginia's public officials 
seceded from the United States and joined the Southern Confederacy they 
carried with them their individual pei^sons and nothing more. The people 
of the State were deprived of none of the rights of self-government, but 
their government was left, for the time being, without officers to execute it 
and give it form. In brief, the people of Virginia had no government, but 
had a right to a government, and they proceeded to create one by choosing 
officers to take the place of those who had abdicated. This is all there was 
in the re-organization of the Government of Virginia, and it was done by 
citizens of the United States, proceeding under that clause in the Federal 
Constitution which declares: "The United States shall guarantee to every 
State in this Union a Republican form of government. " 

The Government of Virginia was re-organized; the State of West Vir- 
ginia was created, and nothing was done in violation of the strictest letter 
and spirit of the United States Constitution. The steps were as follows, 
stated briefly here, but more in detail elsewhere in this book. The loyal 
people of Virginia reclaimed and resumed their sovereignty and re-organized 
their government. This government, through its Legislature, gave its 
consent for the creation of West Virginia from a part of Virginia's territory. 
Delegates elected by the people of the proposed new State prepared a con- 
stitution. The people of the proposed new State adopted this constitution. 
Congress admitted the State. The President issued a proclamation declar- 
ing West Virginia to be one of the United States. This State came into the 
Union in the same manner and by the same process and on the same terms 
as all other States. The details of the re-organization of the Virginia State 
Government will now be set forth more in detail. 

When Virginia passed the Ordinance of Secession the territory now 
forming West Virginia refused to acquiesce in Miat measure. The vote on 
the Ordinance in West Virginia was about ten to one against it, or forty 
thousand against four thousand. In some of the counties there were more 
than twenty to one against Secession. The sentiment was very strong, and 
it soon took shape in the form of mass meetings, which were largely atten- 
ded. When the delegates from West Virginia arrived home from the Rich- 


inond Convention and laid before their constituents the state of affairs there 
"was an immediate movement having for its object the nullification of the 
Ordinance. Although the people of Western Virginia had long wanted a 
new State, and although a very general sentiment favored an immediate 
movement toward that end, yet a conservative course was pursued. Haste 
and rashness gave way to mature judgment, and the new State movement 
took a course strictly constitutional. The Virginia Government was first 
re-organized. That done, the Constitution of the United States provided a 
way for creating the new State, for when the re-organized government was 
recognized by the United States, and when a Legislature had been elected, 
that Legislature could give its consent to the formation of a new State from 
a portion of Virginia's territory, and the way was thereby provided for the 
accomplishment of the object. 

On the day in which the Ordinance of Secession was passed, April 17, 
1861, and before the people knew what had been done, a mass-meeting was 
held at Morgantown which adopted resolutions declaring that Western Vir- 
ginia would remain in the Union. A division of the State was suggested 
in case the eastern part should vote to join the Confederacy. A meeting in 
Wetzel County, April 22, voiced the same sentiment, and similar meetings 
were held in Taylor, Wood, Jackson, Mason and elsewhere. But the move- 
ment took definite form at a mass-meeting of the citizens of Harrison 
County, held at Clarksburg, April 22, which was attended by twelve hun- 
dred men. Not only did this meeting protest against the course which was 
hurrying Virginia out of the Union, but a line of action was suggested for 
checking the Secession movement, at least in the western part of the State. 
A call was sent out for a general meeting, to be held in Wheeling, May 13. 
The counties of Western Virginia were asked to elect their wisest men to 
this convention. Its objects were stated in general terms to be the discus- 
sion of ways and means for providing for the State's best interests in the 
crisis which had arrived. 

Twenty-five counties responded, and the delegates who assembled in 
Wheeling on May 13 were representatives of the people, men who were de- 
termined that the portion of Virginia west of the Alleghany Mountains 
should not take part in a war against the Union without the consent and 
against the will of the people of the affected territory. Hampshire and 
Berkeley Counties, east of the Alleghanies, sent delegates. Many of the 
men who attended the convention were the best known west of the Alle- 
ghanies, and in the subsequent history of West Virginia their names have 
become household words. The roll of the convention was as follows: 

Barbour County — Spencer Dayton, E. H. Manafee, J. H. Shuttleworth. 

Berkeley County — J. W. Dailey, A. R. McQuilkin, J. S. Bowers. 

Brooke County — M. Walker, Bazael Wells, J. D. Nichols, Eli Green, 
John G. Jacob, Joseph Gist, Robert Nichols, Adam Kuhn, David Hervey, 
Campbell Tarr, Nathaniel Wells, J. R. Burgoine, James Archer, Jesse Edg- 
ington, R. L. Jones, James A. Campbell. 

Doddridge County — S. S. Kinney, J. Cheverout, J. Smith, J. P. P. Ran- 
dolph, J. A. Foley. 

Hampshire County — George W. Broski, O. D. Downey, Dr. B. B. Shaw, 
George W. Sheetz, George W. Rizer. 

Hancock County — Thomas Anderson, W. C. Murray, William B. Free- 
man, George M. Porter, W. L. Crawford, L. R. Smith, J. C. Crawford, B. 
J. Smith, J. L. Freeman, John Gardner, George Johnston, J. S. Porter, 


James Stevenson, J. S. Pomeroy, R. Brenenian, David Donahoo, D. S. 
Nicholson, Thayer Melvin, James H. Pugh, Ewing Turner, H. Farnsworth, 
James G. Marshall, Samuel Freeman, John Mahan, Joseph D. Allison, John 
H. Atkinson, Jonathan Allison, D. C. Pugh, A. Moore, William Brown, Wil- 
liam Hewitt, David Jenkins. 

Harrison County — W. P. Goff, B. F. Shuttleworth, William Duncan, L. 
Bowen, William E. Lyon, James Lynch, John S. Carlile, Thomas L. Moore, 
John J. Davis, S. S. Fleming, Felix S. Sturm. 

Jackson County — G. L. Kennedy, J. V. Rowley, A. Flesher, C. M. Rice, 
D. Woodruff, George Leonard, J. F. Scott. 

Lewis County— A. S. Withers, F. M. Chalfant, J. W. Hudson, P. M. 
Hale. J. Woofter, J. A. J. Lightburn, W. L. Grant. 

Marshall County — Thomas Wilson, Lot Enix, John Wilson, G. Hubbs, 
John Ritchie, J. W. Boner, J. Alley, S. B. Stidger, Asa Browning, Samuel 
Wilson, J. McCondell, A. Bonar, D. Price, D. Roberts, G. W. Evans, Thos. 
Dowler, R. Alexander, E. Conner, John Withers, Charles Snediker, Joseph 
McCombs, Alexander Kemple, J. S. Riggs, Alfred Gaines, V. P. Gorby, 
Nathan Fish, A. Francis, William Phillips, S. Ingram, J. Garvin, Dr. Marsh- 
man, William Luke, William Baird, J. Winders, F. Clement, James Camp- 
bell, J. B. Hornbrook, John Parkinson, John H. Dickey, Thomas Morrissa, 
W. Alexander, John Laughlin, W. T. Head, J. S. Parriott, W. J. Purdy, H. 

C. Kemple, R. Swan, John Reynolds, J. Hornbrook, William McFarland, 
G. W. Evans, W. R. Kimmons, William Collins, R. C. Holliday, J. B. Mor- 
ris, J. W. McCarriher, Joseph Turner, Hiram McMechen, E. H. Caldwell, 
James Garvin, L. Gardner, H. A. Francis, Thomas Dowler, John R. Mor- 
row, William Wasson, N. Wilson, Thomas Morgan, S. Dorsey, R. B. Hunter. 

Monongalia County — Waitman T. Willey, William Lazier, James Evans, 
Leroy Kramer. W. E. Hanaway, Elisha Coombs, H. Derinsr, George 
McNeeley, H. N. Mackey, E. D. Fogle, J. T. M. Laskey, J. T. Hess, C. H. 
Burgess, John Bly, William Price, A. Brown, J. R. Boughner, W. B. 
Shaw, P. L. Rice, Joseph Jolliff, William Anderson, E. P. St. Clair, P. T. 
Lashley, Marshall M. Dent, Isaac Scott, Jacob Miller, D. B. Dorsey, Daniel 
White, N. C. Vandervort, A. Derranet, Amos S. Bowlsby, Joseph Snyder, 
J. A. Wiley, John McCarl, A. Garrison. E. B. Taggart, E. P. Finch. 

Marion County — F. H. Pierpont, Jesse Shaw, Jacob Streams, Aaron 
Hawkins, James C. Beatty, William Beatty, J. C. Beeson, R. R. Brown, J. 
Holinan, Thomas H. Bains, Hiram Haymond, H. Merryfleld, Joshua Carter, 
G. W. Jolliff, John Chisler, Thomas Hough. 

Mason County — Lemuel Harpold, W. E. Wetzel, Wyatt Willis, John 
Goodley, Joseph McMachir, William Harper, William Harpold, Samuel 
Davis, Daniel Polsley. J. N. Jones, Samuel Yeager, R. C. M. Lovell, Major 
Brown, John Greer, A. Stevens, W. C. Starr, Stephen Comstock, J. M. 
Phelps, Charles B. Waggener, Asa Brigham, David Rossin, B. J. Rollins, 

D. C. Sayre, Charles Bumgardner, E. B. Davis, William Hopkins, A. A. 
Rogers, John O. Butler, Timothy Russell, John Hall. 

Ohio County— J. C. Orr, L. S. Delaplain, J. R. Stifel, G. L. Cranmer, 
A. Bedillion, Alfred Caldwell, John McClure, Andrew Wilson, George 
Forbes, Jacob Berger, John C. Hoffman, A. J. Woods, T. H. Logan, James 
S. Wheat, George W. Norton, N. H. Garrison, James Paull, J. M. Bickel, 
Robert Crangle, George Bowers, John K. Botsford, L. D. Waitt, J. Horn- 
brook, S. Waterhouse, A. Handlan, J. W. Paxton, S. H. Woodward, C. D. 
Hubbard, Daniel Lamb, John Stiner, W. B. Curtis, A. F. Ross, A. B. Cald- 


well, J. R. Hubbard, E. Buchanon, John Pierson, T. Witham, E. McCaslin. 

Pleasants County — Friend Cochran, James Williamson, Robert Parker, 
R. A. Cramer. 

Preston County — R. C. Crooks, H. C. Hagans, W. H. King, James W. 
Brown, Summers MeCrum, Charles Hooten, William P. Fortney, James A. 
Brown, G. H. Kidd, John Howard, D. A. Letzinger, W. B. Linn, W. J. 
Brown, Reuben Morris. 

Ritchie County — D. Rexroad, J. P. Harris, N. Rexroad, A. S. Cole. 

Roane County — Irwin C. Stump. 

Taylor County — J. Means, J. M. Wilson, J. Kennedy, J. J. Warren, T. 
T. Monroe, G. R. Latham, B. Bailey, J. J. Allen, T. Gather, John S. Bur- 

Tyler County — Daniel Sweeney, V. Smith, W. B. Kerr, D. D. Johnson, 
J. C. Parker, William Pritchard, D. King, S. A. Hawkins, James M. Smith, 
J. H. Johnson, Isaac Davis. 

Upshur County — C. P. Rohrbaugh, W. H. Williams. 

Wayne County — C. Spurlock, F. Moore, W. W. Brumfield, W. H. Cop- 
ley, Walter Queen. 

Wirt County — E. T. Graham, Henry Newman, B. Ball. 

Wetzel County — Elijah Morgan, T. E. Williams, Joseph Murphy, Wil- 
liam Burrows, B. T. Bowers, J. R. Brown, J. M. Bell, Jacob Young, Reu- 
ben Martin, R. Reed, R. S. Sayres, W. D. Welker, George W. Bier, Thos. 
McQuown, John Alley, S. Stephens, R. W. Lauck, John McClaskey, Richard 
Cook, A. McEldowney, B. Vancamp. 

Wood County-— William Johnston, W. H. Baker, A. R. Dye, V. A. Dun- 
bar, G. H. Ralston, S. M. Peterson, S. D. Compton, J. L. Padgett, George 
Loomis, George W. Henderson, E. Deem, N. H. Colston, A. Hinckley, Ben- 
nett Cook, S. S. Spencer, Thomas Leach, T. E. McPherson, Joseph Dagg, 
N. W. Warlow, Peter Riddle, John Paugh, S. L. A. Burche, J. J. Jackson, 
J. D. Ingram, A. Laughlin, J. C. Rathbone, W. Vroman, G. E. Smith, D. 
K. Baylor, M. Woods, Andrew Als, Jesse Burche, S. Ogden, Sardis Cole, 
P. Reed, John McKibben, W. Athey, C. Hunter, R. H. Burke, W. P. Davis, 
George Compton, C. M. Cole, Roger Tiffins, H. Rider, B. H. Bukey, John 
W. Moss, R. B. Smith, Arthur Drake, C. B. Smith, A. Mather, A. H. 
Hatcher, W. E. Stevenson, Jesse Murdock, J. Burche, J. Morrison, Henry 
Cole, J. G. Blackford, C. J. Neal, T. S. Conley, J. Barnett, M. P. Amiss, 
T. Hunter, J. J. Neal, Edward Hoit, N.*B. Caswell, Peter Dils, W. F. Henry, 
A. C. McKinsey, Rufus Kinnard, J. J. Jackson, Jr. 

The convention assembled to take whatever action might seem proper, 
but no definite plan had been decided upon further than that Western Vir- 
ginia should protest against going into Secession with Virginia. The ma- 
jority of the members looked forward to the formation of a new State as 
the ultimate and chief purpose of the convention. Time and care were 
necessary for the accomplishment of this object. But there were several, 
chief among whom was John S. Carlile, who boldly proclaimed that the 
time for forming a new State was at hand. There was a sharp division in 
the convention as to the best method of attaining that end. While Carlile 
led those who were for immediate action, Waitman T. Willey was among 
the foremost of those who insisted that the business must be conducted in 
a business-like way, first byre-organizing the Government of Virginia, and 
then obtaining the consent of the Legislature to divide the State. Mr. 
Carlile actually introduced a measure providing for a new State at once. 


lt met with much favor. But Mr. Willey and others pointed out that pz*e- 
cipitate action would defeat the object in view, because Congress would 
never recognize the State so created. After much controversy there was a 
compromise reached, which was not difficult, where all parties aimed at 
the greatest good, and differed only as to the best means of attaining it. 

At that time the Ordinance of Secession had not been voted upon. Vir- 
ginia had already turned over to the Southern Confederacy all its military 
supplies, public property, troops and materials, stipulating that, in case the 
Ordinance of Secession should be defeated at the polls, the property should 
revert to the State. The Wheeling Convention took steps, pending the 
election, recommending that, in case Secession carried at the polls, a con- 
vention be held for the purpose of deciding what to do — whether to divide 
the State or simply re-organize the Government. This was tEe compromise 
measure which was satisfactory to both parties of the convention. Until 
the Ordinance of Secession had been ratified by the people Virginia was 
still, in law if not in fact, a member of the Federal Union, and any step was 
premature looking to a division of the State or a re-organization of its Gov- 
ernment before the election. P. H. Pierpont, afterwards Governor, intro- 
duced the resolution which . provided for another convention in case the 
Ordinance of Secession should be ratified at the polls. The resolution pro- 
vided that the counties represented in the convention, and all other counties 
of Virginia disposed to act with them, appoint on June 4, 1861, delegates to 
a convention to meet June 11. This convention would then be prepared to 
proceed to business, whether that business should be the re-organization of 
the Government of Virginia or the dividing of the State, or both. Having 
finished its work, the convention adjourned. Had it rashly attempted to 
divide the State at that time the effort must have failed, and the bad effects 
of the failure, and the consequent confusion, would have been far-reaching. 
No man can tell whether such a failure would not have defeated for all time 
the creation of West Virginia from Virginia's territory. 

The vote on the Ordinance of Secession took place May 23, 1861, and 
the people of eastern Virginia voted to go out of the Union, but the part 
now comprising West Virginia gave a large majority against seceding. 
Delegates to the Assembly of Virginia were elected at the same time. Great 
interest was now manifested west of the Alleghanies in the subject of a new 
State. Delegates to the second Wheeling Convention were elected June 4, 
and met June 11, 1861. The members of the first convention had been ap- 
pointed by mass-meetings and otherwise, but those of the second conven- 
tion had been chosen by the suffrage of the people. Thirty counties were 
represented as follows: 

Barbour County — N. H. Taft, Spencer Dayton, John H. Shuttleworth. 

Brooke County — W. H. Crothers, Joseph Gist, John D. Nichols, Camp- 
bell Tarr. 

Cabell County — Albert Laidly was entered on the roll but did not serve. 

Doddridge County — James A. Foley. 

Gilmer County — Henry H. Withers. 

Hancock County — George M. Porter, John H. Atkinson, William L. 

Harrison County — John J. Davis, Chapman J. Stewart, John C. Vance, 
John S. Carlile, Solomon S. Fleming, Lot Bowers, B. F. Shuttleworth. 

Hardy County — John Michael. 


Hampshire County — James Carskadon, Owen J. Downey, James J. Bar- 
racks, G. W. Broski, James H. Trout. 

Jackson County — Daniel Frost, Andrew Flesher, Janies P. Scott. 

Kanawha County — Lewis Ruffner, Greenbury Slack. 

Lewis County— J. A. J. Lightburn, P. M. Hale. 

Monongalia County — Joseph Snyder, Leroy Kramer, R. L. Berkshire, 
William Price, James Evans, D. B. Dorsey. 

Marion County — James 0. Watson, Richard Past, Pontain Smith, Fran- 
cis H. Pierpont, John S. Barnes, A. P. Ritchie. 

Marshall County — C. H. Caldwell, Robert Morris, Remembrance Swan. 

Mason County — Lewis Wetzel, Daniel Polsley, C. B. Waggener. 

Ohio County — Andrew Wilson, Thomas H. Logan, Daniel Lamb, James 
W. Paxton, George Harrison, Chester D. Hubbard. 

Pleasants County — James W. Willamson, C. W. Smith. 

Preston County — William Zinn, Charles Hooten, William B. Crane, John 
Howard, Harrison Hagans, John J. Brown. 

Ritchie County — William H. Douglass. 

Randolph County — Samuel Crane. 

Roane County — T. A. Roberts. 

Tucker County — Solomon Parsons. 

Taylor County — L. E. Davidson, John S. Burdette, Samuel B. Todd. 

Tyler County — William I. Boreman, Daniel D. Johnson. 

Upshur County — John Love, John L. Smith, D. D. T. Parnsworth. 

Wayne County — William Ratcliif, William Copley, W. W. Brumfield. 

Wetzel County — James G. West, Reuben Martin, James P. Perrell. 

Wirt County — James A. Williamson, Henry Newman, E. T. Graham. 

Wood County — John W. Moss, Peter G. VanWinkle, Arthur I. Bore- 

James T. Close and H. S. Martin, of Alexandria, and John Hawxhurst 
and E. E. Mason, of Fairfax, were admitted as delegates, while William F. . 
Mercer, of Loudoun, and Jonathan Roberts, of Fairfax, were rejected be- 
cause of the insufficiency of their credentials. Arthur I. Boreman was 
elected president of the convention, G. L. Cranmer, secretary, and Thomas 
Hornbrook, sergeant-at-arms. 

On June 13, two days after the meeting of the convention, a committee 
on Order of Business reported a declaration by the people of Virginia. This 
document set forth the acts oi the Secessionists of Virginia, declared them 
hostile to the welfare of the people, done in violation of the constitution, 
and therefore null and void. It was further declared that all offices in Vir- 
ginia, whether legislative, judicial or executive, under the government set 
up by the convention which passed the Ordinance of Secession, were vacant. 
The next day the convention began the work of re-organizing the State Gov- 
ernment on the following lines: A Governor, Lieutenant Governor and 
Attorney General for the State of Virginia were to be appointed by 
the convention to hold office until their successors should be elected and 
qualified, and the Legislature was required to provide by law for the elec- 
tion of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor by the people. A Council of 
State, consisting of five members, was to be appointed to assist the Gov- 
ernor, their term of office to expire at the same time as that of the Governor. 
Delegates elected to the Legislature on May 23, 1861, and Senators entitled 
to seats under the laws then existing, and who would take the oath as 
required, were to constitute the re-organized Legislature, and were required 


to meet in Wheeling on the first day of the following July. A test oath was 
required of all officers, whether State, County or Municipal. 

On June 20 the convention proceeded to choose officers. Francis H. 
Pierpont was elected Governor of Virginia; Daniel Polsley was elected 
Lieutenant Governor; James Wheat was chosen Attorney General. The 
Governor's council consisted of Daniel Lamb, Peter G. VanWinkle, William 
Lazier, William A. Harrison and J. T. Paxton. The Legislature was re- 
quired to elect an Auditor, Treasurer and Secretary of State as soon as pos- 
sible. This closed the work of the convention, and it adjourned to meet 
August 6. 

A new Government existed for Virginia. The Legislature which was 
to assemble in Wheeling in ten days could complete the work. 

This Legislature of Virginia, consisting of thirty-one members, began 
its labors immediately upon organizing, July 1. A message from Governor 
Pierpont laid before that body the condition of affairs and indicated certain 
measures which ought to be carried out. On July 9 the Legislature elected 
L. A. Hagans, of Preston County, Secretary of Virginia; Samuel Crane, of 
Randolph County, Auditor; and Campbell Tarr, of Brooke County, Treas- 
urer. Waitman T. Willey and John S. Carlile were elected to the United 
States Senate. 

The convention which had adjourned June 20 met again August 6 and 
took up the work of dividing Virginia, whose government had been re-or- 
ganized and was in working order. The people wanted a new State and 
the machinery for creating it was set in motion. On July 20 an ordinance 
was passed calling for an election to take the sense of the people on the 
question, and to elect members to a constitutional convention at the same 
time. In case the vote favored a new State, the men elected to the consti- 
tutional convention were to meet and frame a constitution. The conven- 
tion adjourned August 2, 1861. Late in October the election was held, 
with the result that the vote stood about twenty-five to one in favor of a 
new State. 





The Re-organized Government of Virginia made all things ready for 
the creation of the new commonwealth. The people of Western Virginia 
had waited long for the opportunity to divide the State. The tyranny of 
the more powerful eastern part had been borne half a century. When at 
last the war created the occasion, the people were not slow to profit by it, 
and to bring a new State into existence. The work began in earnest August 
20, 1861, when the second Wheeling Convention called upon the people to 
vote on the question; and the labor was completed June 20, 1863, when the 
officers of the new State took charge of affairs. One year and ten months 
were required for the accomplishment of the work; and this chapter gives 
an outline of the proceedings relative to the new State during that time. It 
was at first proposed to call it Kanawha, but the name was cbanged in the 
constitutional convention at Wheeling on December 3, 1861, to West Vir- 
ginia. On February 18, 1862, the constitutional convention adjourned, sub- 
ject to the call of the chairman. In April of that year the people of the 
State voted upon the ratification of the constitution, and the vote in favor 
of ratification was 18,862, and against it, 514. Governor Pierpont issued a 
proclamation announcing the result, and at the same time called an extra 
session of the Virginia Legislature to meet in Wheeling May 6. That body 
met, and six days later passed an act by which it gave its consent to a divi- 
sion of the State of Virginia and the creation of a new State. This was 
done in order that the constitution might be complied with, for, before the 
State could be divided, the Legislature must give its consent. It yet 
remained for West Virginia to be admitted into the Union by an Act of 
Congress and by the President's proclamation. Had there been no opposi- 
tion, and had there not been such press of other business this might have 
been accomplished in a few weeks. As it was there was a long contest in 
the Senate. The opposition did not come so much from outside the State 
as from the State itself. John S. Carlile, one of the Senators elected by 
the Legislature of the Re-organized Government of Virginia at Wheeling, 
was supposed to be friendly to the cause of the new State, but when he was 
put to the test it was found that he was strongly opposed to it, and he did 
all in his power to defeat the movement, and almost accomplished his pur- 
pose. The indignation in Western Virginia was great. The Legislature, 
in session at Wheeling, on December 12, 1862, by a resolution, requested 
Carlile to resign the seat he held in the Senate. He refused to do so. He 
had been one of the most aetive advocates of the movement for a new 
State while a member of the first Wheeling Convention, in May, 1861, and 
had been a leader in the new State movement before and after that date. 


Why he changed, and opposed the admission of West Virginia by Congress 
has never been satisfactorily explained. 

One of the reasons given for his opposition, and one which he himself 
put forward, was that Congress attempted to amend the State constitution 
on the subject of slavery, and he opposed the admission of the State on 
that ground. He claimed that he would rather have no new State than 
have it saddled with a constitution, a portion of which its people had never 
ratified. But this could not have been the sole cause of Carlile's opposition. 
He tried to defeat the bill after the proposed objectionable amendment to 
the constitution had been satisfactorily arranged. He fought it in a deter- 
mined manner till the last. He had hindered the work of getting the bill 
before Congress before any change in the State Constitution had been 

The members in Congress from the Re-organized Government of Vir- 
ginia were William G. Brown, Jacob B. Blair and K. V. Waley; in the Sen- 
ate, John S. Carlile and Waitman T. Willey. In addition to these gentle- 
men, the Legislature appointed as commissioners to bring the matter before 
Congress, Ephraim B. Hall, of Marion County, Peter VanWinkle, of Wood 
County, John Hall, of Mason County, and Elbert H. Caldwell, of Marshall 
County. These commissioners reached Washington May 22, 1862. There 
were several other well-known West Virginians who also went to Washing- 
ton on their own account to assist in securing the new State. Among 
them were Daniel Polsley, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia; Granville 
Parker and Harrison Hagans. There were members of Congress and Sen- 
ators from other States who performed special service in the cause. The 
matter was laid before the United States Senate May 29, 1862, by Senator 
Willey, who presented the West Virginia Constitution recently ratified, and 
also the Act of the Legislature giving its consent to the creation of a new 
State within the jurisdiction of Virginia, and a memorial requesting the 
admission of the State. In presenting these documents, Senator Willey 
addressed the Senate and denied that the movement was simply to gratify 
revenge upon the mother State for seceding from the Union and joining 
the Southern Confederacy, but on the contrary, the people west of the Alle- 
ghanies had long wanted a new State, and had long suffered in consequence 
of Virginia's neglect, and of her unconcern for their welfare. Mr. Willey's 
address was favorably received, and the whole matter regarding the admis- 
sion of West Virginia was laid before the Committee on Territories, of 
which Senator John S. Carlile was a member. It had not at that time been 
suspected that Carlile was hostile to the movement. He was expected to 
prepare the bill. He neglected to do so until nearly a month had passed 
and the session of Congress was drawing to a close. But it was not so 
much the delay that showed his hostility as the form of the bill. Had it 
been passed by Congress in the form proposed by Carlile the defeat of the 
new State measure must have been inevitable. No one acquainted with the 
circumstances and conditions had any doubt that the bill was prepared for 
the express purpose of defeating the wishes of the people by whom Mr. 
Carlile had been sent to the Senate. It included in West Virginia, in addi- 
tion to the counties which had ratified the constitution, Alleghany, Augusta, 
Berkeley, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Clark, Frederick, Highland, Jefferson, 
Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren Counties. The 
hostility in most of those counties was very great. The bill provided that 
those counties, in conjunction with those west of the Alleghanies, should 


elect delegates to a constitutional convention and frame a constitution 
which should provide that all children born of slaves after 1863 should be 
free. This constitution was then to go back to the people of the several 
counties for ratification. Then, if the Virginia Legislature should pass an 
Act giving its consent to the creation of a new State from Virginia's terri- 
tory, and the Governor of Virginia certify the same to the President of the 
United States, he might make proclamation of the fact, and West Virginia 
would become a State without further proceedings by Congress. 

Senator Carlile knew that the counties he had added east of the Alle- 
ghanies were opposed to the new State on any terms, and that they would 
opjiose it the more determinedly on account of the gradual emancipation 
clause in it. He knew that they would not appoint delegates to a constitu- 
tional convention, nor would they ratify the constitution should one be sub- 
mitted to them. In short, they were strong enough in votes and sentiment 
to defeat the movement for a new State. All the work done for the crea- 
tion of West Virginia would have been thrown away had this bill prevailed. 

Three days later, June 26, the bill was called up, and Charles Sumner 
proposed an amendment regarding slavery. He would have no slavery at 
all. All indications were that the bill would defeat the measure for the new 
State, and preparations were made to begin the fight in a new quarter. 
Congressman Win. G. Brown, of Preston County, proposed a new bill to be 
presented in the House of Representatives. But the contest went on. In 
July Senator Willey submitted an amendment, which was really a new bill. 
It omitted the counties east of the Alleghanies, and provided that all slaves 
under twenty-one years of age on July 4, 1863, should be free on arriving 
at that age. It now became apparent to Carlile that his bill was dead, and 
that West Virginia was likely to be admitted. As a last resort, he proposed 
a postponement till December, in order to gain time, but his motion was 
lost. Carlile then opposed the bill on the grounds that if passed it would 
impose upon the people of the new State a clause of the constitution not of 
their making and which they had not ratified. But this argument was de- 
prived of .its force by offering to submit the proposed amendment to the 
people of West Virginia for their aj^proval. Fortunately the constitutional 
convention had adjourned subject to the call of the chair. The members 
were convened; they included the amendment in the constitution, and the 
people approved it. However, before this was done the bill took its course 
through Congress. It passed the Senate July 14, 1862, and was immedi- 
ately sent to the Lower House. But Congress being about to adjourn, 
further consideration of the bill went over till the next session in Decem- 
ber, 1862, and on the tenth of that month it was taken up in the House of 
Representatives and after a discussion continuing most of the day, it was 
passed by a vote of ninety-six to fifty- five. 

The friends of the new State now felt that their efforts had been suc- 
cessful; but one more step was necessary, and the whole work might yet 
be rendered null and void. It depended on President Lincoln. He might 
veto the bill. He requested the opinion of his cabinet. Six of the cabinet 
officers complied, and three favored signing the bill and three advised the 
President to veto it. Mr. Lincoln took it under advisement. It was be- 
lieved that he favored the bill, but there was much anxiety felt. Nearly 
two years before that time Mr. Lincoln, through one of his cabinet officers, 
had promised Governor Pierpont to do all he could, in a constitutional way, 
for the Re-organized Government of Virginia, and that promise was con- 


strued to mean that the new State would not be opposed by the President. 
Mr. Lincoln was evidently undecided lor some time what course to pursue, 
lor he alterwards said that a telegram received by him Irom A. W. Camp- 
bell, editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer, largely influenced him in deciding 
to sign the bill. On December 31, 1862, Congressman Jacob B. Blair called 
on the President to see if any action had been taken by the Executive. The 
bill had not yet been signed, but Mr. Lincoln asked Mr. Blair to come back 
the next day. Mr. Blair did so, and was given the bill admitting West Vir- 
ginia into the Union. It was signed January 1, 1863. 

On December 31, 1862, President Lincoln gave his own views on these 
questions in the following language:* 

" The consent of the Legislature of Virginia is constitutionally necessary to the Bill 
for the Admission of West Virginia becoming a law. A body claiming to be such Legis- 
lature has given its consent. We cannot well deny that it is such, unless we do so upon 
the outside knowledge that the body was chosen at elections in which a majority of the 
qualified voters of Virginia did not participate. But it is a universal practice in the 
popular elections in all these States to give no legal consideration whatever to those who 
do not choose to vote, as against the effect of those who do choose to vote. Hence it is 
not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the 
political power of the State. Much less than to non-voters should any consideration be 
given to those who did not vote in this case, because it is also matter of outside knowl- 
edge that they were not merely neglectful of their rights under and duty to this Govern- 
ment, but were also engaged in open rebellion against it. Doubtless among these non- 
voters were some Union men whose voices were smothered by the more numerous Seces- 
sionists, but we know too little of their number to assign them any appreciable value. 

•'Can this Government stand if it indulges constitutional constructions by which 
men in open rebellion against it are to be accounted, man for man, the equals of those 
who maintain their loyalty to it ? Are they to be accounted even better citizens, and 
more worthy of consideration, than those who merely neglect to vote ? If so, their treason 
against the Constitution enhances their coustitutional value. Without braving these 
absurd conclusions we cannot deny that the body which consents to the admission of 
West Virginia is the Legislature of Virginia. I do not think the plural form of the 
words ' Legislatures ' and ' States ' in the phrase of the constitution ' without the con- 
sent of the Legislatures of the States concerned ' has any reference to the new State 
concerned. That plural form sprang from the contemplation of two or more old States 
contributing to form a new one. The idea that the new State was in danger of being 
admitted without its own consent was not provided against, because it was not thought 
of, as I conceive. It is said ' the Devil takes care of his own. ' Much more should a good 
spirit — the spirit of the Constitution and the Union — take care of its own. I think it 
cannot do less and live. 

" But is the admission of West Virginia into" the Union expedient ? This, in my 
general view, is more a question for Congress than for the Executive. Still I do not 
evade it. More than on anything else, it depends on whether the admission or rejection 
of the new State would, under all the circumstances, tend the more strongly to the 
restoration of the National authority throughout the Union. That which helps most in 
this direction is the most expedient at this time. Doubtless those in remaining Vir- 
ginia would return to the Union, so to speak, less reluctantly without the division of the 
old State than with it, but I think we could not save as much in this quarter by reject- 
ing the new State as we should lose by it in West Virginia. We can scarcely dispense 
with the aid of West Virginia in this struggle; much less can we afford to bave her 
against us, in Congress and in the field. Her brave and good men regard her admission 
into the Union as a matter of life and death. They have been true to the Union under 
very severe trials. We have so acted as to justify their hopes, and we cannot fully retain 
their confidence and co-operation if we seem to break faith with them. In fact they 
could not do so much for us if they would. Again, the admission of the new State turns 
that much slave soil to free, and this is a certain and irrevocable encroachment upon 
the cause of the rebellion. The division of a State is dreaded as a precedent. But a 
measure made expedient by a war is no precedent in times of peace. It is said that the 
admission of West Virginia is secession. Well, if we call it by that name, there is still 

* See " Works of Abraham Lincoln," by John Nicolay and John Hay, vol. 2, p. 285. 


difference enough between secession against the constitution and secession in favor of 
the constitution. I believe the admission of West Virginia into the Union is expedient. " 

However, there was yet something to be done before West Virginia 
became a State. The bill passed by Congress and signed by President 
Lincoln went no further than to provide that the new State should become 
a member of the Union when a clause concerning slavery, contained in the 
bill, should be made a part of the constitution and be ratified by the people. 
The convention which had framed the State Constitution had adjourned to 
meet at the call of the chairman. The members came together on Febru- 
ary 12, 1863. Two days later John S. Carlile, who had refused to resign 
his seat in the Senate when asked by the Virginia Legislature to do so, 
made another effort to defeat the will of the people whom he was sent to 
Congress to represent. He presented a supplementary bill in the Senate 
providing that President Lincoln's proclamation admitting West Virginia 
be withheld until certain counties of West Virginia had ratified by their 
votes the clause regarding slavery contained in the bill. Mr. Carlile be- 
lieved that those counties would not ratify the constitution. But his bill 
was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 28 to 12. 

The clause concerning slavery, as adopted by the constitutional con- 
vention on re -assembling at Wheeling, was in these words: "The children 
of slaves, born within the limits of this State after the fourth day of July, 
1863, shall be free, and all slaves within the said State who shall, at the 
time aforesaid, be under the age of ten years, shall be free when they arrive 
at the age of twenty-one years; and all slaves over ten and under twenty- 
one years shall be free when they arrive at the age of twenty-five years; 
and no slave shall be permitted to come into the State for permanent resi- 
dence therein." The people ratified the constitution at an election held for 
that purpose. The majority in favor of ratification was seventeen 

President Lincoln issued his proclamation April 20, 1863, and sixty 
days thereafter, that is June 20, 1863, West Virginia was to become a State 
without further legislation. In the meantime, May 9, a State Convention 
assembled in Parkersburg to nominate officers. A Confederate force under 
General Jones advanced within forty miles of Parkersburg, and the con- 
vention hurried through with its labors and adjourned. It nominated 
Arthur I. Boreman, of Wood County, for Governor; Campbell Tarr, of 
Brooke County, for Treasurer; Samuel Crane, of Randolph County, for 
Auditor; Edgar J. Boyers, of Tyler County, for Secretary of State; A. B. 
Caldwell, of Ohio County, Attorney General; for Judges of the Supreme 
Court of Appeals, Ralph L. Bei'kshire, of Monongalia County; James H. 
Brown, of Kanawha County, and William A. Harrison, of Harrison County. 
These were all elected late in the month of May, and on June 20, 1863, took 
the oath of office and West Virginia was a State. Thus was fulfilled the 
prophecy of Daniel Webster in 1851 when he said that if Virginia took sides 
with a secession movement, the result would be the formation of a new State 
from Virginia's Transalleghany territory. 

The creation of the new State of West Virginia did not put an end to 
the Re organized Government of Virginia. The officers who had held their 
seat of government at Wheeling moved to Alexandria, and in 1865 moved 
to Richmond, where they held office until their successors were elected. 
Governor Pierpont filled the gubernatorial chair of Virginia about seven 


In the summer of 1864 General Benjamin F. Butler, in command of 
Union forces in eastern Virginia, wrote to President Lincoln, complaining 
of the conduct of Governor Pierpont and the Secretary of State, intimating 
that they were not showing sufficient devotion to the Union cause. On 
August 9, 18G1, Lincoln replied, and in the following language put a squelch 
on General Butler "s meddling: 

" I surely need not to assure you that I have no doubt of your loyalty and devoted 
patriotism, and I must tell you that I have no less confidence in those of Governor Pier- 
pont and the Attorney General. The former — at first as the loyal Governor of all Vir- 
ginia, including that which it now West Virginia, in organizing and furnishing troops, 
and in all other proper matters— was as earnest, honest and efficient to the extent of his 
means as any other loyal Governor. * * * * * * The Attorney General needs only to be 
known to be relieved from all question as to loyalty and thorough devotion to the national 

* Works of Lincoln, vol. 2. p. 030. 




In a work of this sort it should not be expected that a full account of 
the Civil War, as it affected West Virginia, will be given. It must suffice 
to present only an outline of events as they occurred in that great struggle, 
nor is any pretence made that this outline shall be complete. The vote on 
the Ordinance of Secession showed that a large majority of the people in 
this State were opposed to a separation from the United States. This vote, 
while it could not have been much of a surprise to the politicians in the 
eastern part of Virginia, was a disappointment. It did not prevent Vir- 
ginia, as a State, from joining the Southern Confederacy, but the result 
made it plain that Virginia was divided against itself, and that all the part 
west of the Alleghany Mountains, and much of that west of the Blue Ridge, 
would not take up arms against the general government in furtherance of 
the interests of the Southern Confederacy. 

It therefore became necessary for Virginia, backed by the other South- 
ern States, to conquer its own transmontane territory. The commencement 
of the war in what is now West Virginia was due to an invasion by troops 
in the service of the Southern Confederacy in an effort to hold the territory 
as a part of Virginia. It should not be understood, however, that there 
was no sympathy with the South in this State. As nearly as can be esti- 
mated the number who took sides with the South, in proportion to those 
who upheld the Union, was as one to six. The people generally were left 
to choose. Efforts were made at the same time to raise soldiers for the 
South and for the North, and those who did not want to go one way were 
at liberty to go the other. In the eastern part of the State considerable 
success was met in enlisting volunteers for the Confederacy, but in the 
western counties there were hardly any who went with the South. That 
the government at Richmond felt the disappointment keenly is evidenced 
by the efforts put forth to organize companies of volunteers, and the dis- 
couraging reports of the recruiting officers. 

Robert E. Lee was appointed commander-in-chief of the military and 
naval forces of Virginia, April 23, 1861, and on the same day he wrote to 
Governor Letcher accepting the office. Six days later he wrote Major A. 
Loring, at Wheeling, urging him to muster into the service of the State all 
the volunteer companies in that vicinity, and to take command of them. 
Loring was asked to report what success attended his efforts. On the same 
day Lieutenant-Colonel John McCausland, at Richmond, received orders 
from General Lee to proceed at once to the Kanawha Valley and muster 
into service the volunteer companies in that quarter. General Lee named four 
companies already formed, two in Kanawha and two in Putnam Counties, 


and he expressed the belief that others would offer their services. McCaus- 
land was instructed to organize a company of artillery in the Kanawha Val- 
ley. On the next day, April 30, General Lee wrote to Major Boykin, at 
Weston, in Lewis County, ordering him to muster in the volunteer com- 
panies in that part of the State, and to ascertain how many volunteers could 
be raised in the vicinity of Parkersburg. General Lee stated in the letter 
that he had sent two hundred Hint-lock muskets to Colonel Jackson (Stone- 
wall) at Harper's Ferry, for the use of the volunteers about Weston. He 
said no better guns could be had at that time. The next day, May 1, Gov 
ernor Letcher announced that arrangements had been made for calling out 
fifty thousand Virginia volunteers, to assemble at Norfolk, Richmond, Alex- 
andria, Fredericksburg, Harper's Ferry, Grafton, Parkersburg, Kanawha 
and Moundsville. On May 4 General Lee ordered Colonel George A Por- 
terfield to Grafton to take charge of the troops in that quarter, those already 
in service and those who were expected to volunteer. Colonel Porterfield 
was ordered, by authority of the Governor of Virginia, to call out the vol- 
unteers in the counties of Wood, Wirt, Roaoe, Calhoun, Gilmer, Ritchie, 
Pleasants and Doddridge, to rendezvous at Parkersburg; anrl in the coun- 
ties of Braxton, Lewis, Harrison, Monongalia, Taylor, Barbour, Upshur, 
Tucker, Marion, Randolph and Preston, to rendezvous at Grafton. General 
Lee said he did not know how many men could be enlisted, but he supposed 
five regiments could be mustered into service in that part of the State. 

In these orders sent out General Lee expressed a desire to be kept in- 
formed of the success attending the call for volunteers. Replies soon be- 
gan to arrive at Richmond, and they were uniformly discouraging to Gen- 
eral Lee. It was early apparent that the people of Western Virginia were 
not enthusiastic in taking up arms for the Southern Confederacy. Major 
Boykin wrote General Lee that the call for volunteers was not meeting with 
success. To this letter General Lee replied on May 11, and urged Major 
Boykin to persevere and call out the companies for such counties as were 
not so hostile to the South, and to concentrate them at Grafton. He stated 
that four hundred rifles had been forwarded from Staunton to Beverly, in 
Randolph County, where Major Goff would receive and .hold them until 
further orders. Major Boykin recpaested that companies from other parts 
of the State be sent to Grafton to take the places of companies which bad 
been counted upon to organize in that vicinity, but which had failed to ma- 
terialize. To this suggestion General Lee replied that he did not consider 
it advisable to do so, as the presence of outside companies at Grafton would 
tend to irritate the people instead of conciliating them. 

On May 16 Colonel Porterlield had arrived at Grafton and had taken a 
hasty survey of the situation, and his conclusion was that the cause of the 
Southern Confederacy in that vicinity was not promising. On that day he 
made a report to R. S. Garnett, at Richmond, Adjutant General of the Vir- 
ginia army, and stated that the rifles ordered to Beverly from Staunton had 
not arrived, nor had they been heard from. It appears from this report 
that no volunteers had yet assembled at Grafton, but Colonel Porterfield 
said a company was organizing at Pruntytown, in Taylor County; one at 
Weston, under Captain Boggess; one at Philippi, another at Clarksburg, 
and still another at Fairmont. Only two of these companies had guns, flint- 
locks, and no ammunition. At that time all of those companies had been 
ordered to Grafton. Colonel Porterfield said, in a tone of discouragement, 
that those troops, almost destitute of guns and ammunition, were all he had 


to depend upon, and he considered the force very weak compared with the 
strength of those in that vicinity who were prepared to oppose him. He 
complained that he had found much diversity of opinion and "rebellion" 
among the people, who did not believe that the State was strong enough to 
contend against the Government. " I am, too, credibly informed," said he, 
' ' to entertain doubt that they have been and will be supplied with the 
means of resistance. * * * * Their efforts to intimidate have had their 
effect, both to dishearten one party and to encourage the other. Many good 
citizens have been dispirited, while traitors have seized the guns and am- 
munition of the State to be used against its authority. The force in this 
section will need the best rifles. * * * * There will not be the same use 
for the bayonet in these hills as elsewhere, and the movements should be 
of light infantry and rifle, although the bayonet, of course, would be 
desirable. " 

About this time, that is near the middle of May, 1861, General Lee 
ordered one thousand muskets sent to Beverly for the use of the volunteer 
companies organizing to the northward of that place. Colonel Heck was 
sent in charge of the guns, and General Lee instructed him to call out all 
the volunteers possible along the route from Staunton to Beverly. If the 
authorities at Richmond had learned by the middle of May that Western 
Virginia was not to be depended upon for filling with volunteers the ranks 
of the Southern armies, the truth was still more apparent six weeks later. 
By that time General Garnett had crossed the Alleghanies in person, and 
had brought a large force of Confederate troops with him and was en- 
trenched at Laurel Hill and Rich Mountain, in Randolph County. It had 
been claimed that volunteers had not joined the Confederate standard be- 
cause they were afraid to do so in the face of the stronger Union companies 
organizing in the vicinity, but that if a Confederate army were in the coun- 
try to overawe the advocates of the Union cause then large numbers of 
recruits would organize to help the South. Thus Garnett marched over the 
Alleghanies and called for volunteers. The result was deeply mortifying 
to him as well as discouraging to the authorities at Richmond. On June 
25, 1861, he wrote to General Lee, dating his letter at Laurel Hill. He 
complained that he could not find out what the movements of the Union 
forces were likely to be, and added that the Union men in that vicinity were 
much more active, numerous and zealous than the secessionists. He said 
it was like carrying on a campaign in a foreign country, as the people were 
nearly all against him, and never missed an opportunity to divulge bis 
movements to McClellan, but would give him no information of what McClel- 
lan was doing. "My hope," he wrote to Lee, "of increasing my force in 
this region has so far been sadly disappointed. Only eight men have joined 
me here, and only fifteen at Colonel Heck's canip — not enough to make up 
my losses by discharges. The people are thoroughly imbued with an igno- 
rant and bigoted Union sentiment." 

If more time was required to ascertain the sentiment in the Kanawha Val- 
ley than had been necessary in the northern and eastern part of the State, it 
was nevertheless seen in due time that the Southern Confederacy's supporters 
ers in that quarter were in a hopeless minority. General Henry A. Wise, ex 
Governor of Virginia, had been sent into the Kanawha Valley early in 1861 
to organize such forces as could be mustered for the Southern army. He 
was one of the most fiery leaders in the Southern Confederacy, and an able 
man, and of great influence. He had, perhaps, done more than any other 


man in Virginia to swing that State into the Southern Confederacy. He it 
was who, when the Ordinance of Secession was in the balance in the Rich- 
mond Convention, rose in the convention, drew a horse-pistol from his 
bosom, placed it upon the desk before him, and proceeded to make one of 
the most impassioned speeches heard in that tumultuous convention. The 
effect of his speech was tremendous, and Virginia wheeled into line with 
the other Confederate States. General Wise hurried to the field, and was 
soon in the thick of the fight in the Kanawha Valley. He failed to organize 
an army there, and in his disappointment and anger he wrote to General 
Lee, August 1, 1861, saying: "The Kanawha Valley is wholly disaffected 
and traitorous. It was gone from Charleston to Point Pleasant before I 
got there. Boone and Cabell are nearly as bad, and the state of things in 
Braxton, Nicholas and part of Greenbrier is awful. The militia are nothing 
for warlike uses here. They are worthless who are true, and there is no 
telling who is true. You cannot persuade these people that Virginia can 
or will reconquer the northwest, and they are submitting, subdued and de- 
based." General Wise made an urgent request for more guns, ammunition 
and clothing. 

While the Confederates were doing their utmost to organize and equip 
forces in Western Virginia, and were meeting discouragements and failure 
nearly everywhere, the people who upheld the Union were also at work, 
and success was the rule and failure almost unknown. As soon as the fact 
was realized that Virginia had joined the Southern Confederacy; had seized 
upon the government arsenals and other property within the State, and 
had commenced war upon the government, and was preparing to continue 
the hostilities, the people of Western Virginia, who had long suffered from 
the injustice and oppression of the eastern part of the State, began to pre- 
pare for war. They did not long halt between two opinions, but at once 
espoused the cause of the United States. Companies were organized every- 
where. The spirit with which the cause of the Union was upheld was one 
of the most discouraging features of the situation, as viewed by the Con- 
federates who were vainly trying to raise troops in this part of the State. 
The people in the Kanawha Valley who told General Wise that they did 
not believe Virginia could re conquer Western Virginia had reasons for their 
conclusions. The people along the Ohio, the Kanawha, the Monongahela; 
in the interior, among the mountains, were everywhere drilling and arming. 

There was some delay and disappointment in securing arms for the 
Union troops as they were organized in West Virginia. Early in the war, 
while there was yet hope entertained by some that the trouble could be ad- 
justed without much fighting, there was hesitation on the part of the Gov- 
ernment about sending guns into Virginia to arm one class of the people. 
Consequently some of the first arms received in Western Virginia did not 
come directly from the Government arsenals, but were sent from Massa- 
chusetts. As early as May 7, 1861, a shipment of two thousand stands of 
arms was made from the Watervleit arsenal, New York, to the northern 
Panhandle of West Virginia, above Wheeling. These guns armed some of 
the first soldiers from West Virginia that took the field. An effort had been 
made to obtain arms from Pittsburg, but it was unsuccessful. Campbell 
Tarr, of Brooke County, and others, went to Washington as a committee, 
and it was through their efforts that the guns were obtained. The govern- 
ment officials were very cautious at that time lest they should do something 
without express warranty in law. But Edwin M. Stanton advised that the 


guns be sent, promising that he would find the law for it afterwards. Gov- 
ernor Pierpont had written to President Lincoln for help, and the reply 
had been that all help that could be given under the constitution would be 

The Civil War opened in West Virginia by a conflict between the Con- 
federate forces in the State and the Federal forces sent against them. The 
first Union troops to advance came from Wheeling and beyond the Ohio 
River. Colonel Benjamin F. Kelley organized a force at Wheeling, and was 
instructed to obey orders from General McClellan, then at Cincinnati. 

The first order from McClellan to Kelley was that he should fortify the 
hills about Wheeling. This was on May 26, 1861. This appears to have 
been thought necessary as a precaution against an advance on the part of 
the Confederates, but McClellan did not know how weak they were in West 
Virginia at that time. Colonel Porterfield could not get together men and 
ammunition enough to encourage him to hold Grafton, much less to advance 
to the Ohio River. It is true that on the day that Virginia passed the Ordi- 
nance of Secession Governor Letcher made an effort to hold Wheeling, but 
it signally failed. He wrote to Mayor Sweeney, of that city, to seize the 
postoffice, the custom house, and all government property in that city, hold 
them in the name of the State of Virginia. Mayor Sweeney replied: "I 
have seized upon the custom house, the postoffice and all public buildings 
and documents, in the name of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, whose property they are." 

Colonel Kelley, when he received the order to fortify the hills about 
Wheeling, replied that he did not believe such a step was necessary, but 
that the proper thing to do was to advance to Grafton and drive the Con- 
federates out of the country. McClellan accepted the suggestion, and 
ordered Kelley to move to Grafton with the force under his orders. These 
troops had enlisted at Wheeling and had been drilled for service. They 
were armed with guns sent from Massachusetts. They carried their am- 
munition in their pockets, as they had not yet been fully equipped with the 
accoutrements of war. They were full of enthusiasm, and were much grat- 
ified when the orders came for an advance. The agent of the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad at Wheeling refused to furnish cars for the troops, giving 
as his reason that the railroad would remain neutral. Colonel Kelley an- 
nounced that if the cars were not ready by four o'clock next morning he 
would seize them by force, and take military possession of the railroad. 
The cars were ready at four the next morning.* While Kelley's troops 
were setting out from Wheeling an independent movement was in progress 
at Morgantown to drive the Confederates out of Grafton. A number of 
companies had been organized on the Monongahela, and they assembled at 
Morgantown, where they were joined by three companies from Pennsyl- 
vania, and were about to set out for Grafton on their own responsibility, 
when they learned that Colonel Kelley had already advanced from Wheel- 
ing, and that the Confederates had retreated. Colonel Porterfield learned 
of the advance from Wheeling and saw that he would be attacked before his 
looked-for reinforcements and arms could arrive. The poorly-equipped 
force under his command were unable to successfully resist an attack, and 
lie prepared to retreat southward. He ordered two railroad bridges burned, 

* " Loyal West Virginia," by T. F. Lang, 


between Fairmont and Mannington, hoping thereby to delay the arrival of 
the Wheeling troops. 

At daybreak on May 27 Colonel Kelley's troops left Wheeling on board 
the cars for Grafton. When they reached Mannington they stopped long 
enough to rebuild the burnt bridges, which delayed them only a short time. 
While there Kelley received a telegram from McClellan informing him that 
troops from Ohio and Indiana were on their way to his assistance. When 
the Wheeling troops reached Grafton the town had been deserted by the 
Confederates, who had retreated to Philippi, about twenty-five miles south 
of Grafton. Colonel Kelley at once planned pursuit. On June 1 a consid- 
erable number of soldiers from Ohio and Indiana had arrived. Colonel R. 
H. Milroy, Colonel Irvine and General Thomas A. Morris were in command 
of the troops from beyond the Ohio. They were the van of General McClel- 
lan's advance into West Virginia. When General Morris arrived at Grafton 
he assumed command of all the forces in that vicinity. Colonel Kelley's 
plan of pursuit of Colonel Porterfield was laid before General Morris and 
was approved by him, and preparations were immediately commenced for 
carrying it into execution. It appears that Colonel Porterfield did not ex- 
pect pursuit. He had established his camp at Philippi and was waiting for 
reinforcements and supplies, which failed to arrive. Since assuming com- 
mand of the Confederate forces in West Virginia he had met one diappoint- 
ment after another. His force at Philippi was stated at the time to number 
two thousand, but it was little more than half so large. General Morris 
and Colonel Kelley prepared to attack him with three thousand men, ad- 
vancing at night by two routes to fall upon him by surprise. 

Colonel Kelley was to march about six miles east from Grafton on the 
morning of June 2, and from that point march across the mountains during 
the afternoon and night, and so regulate his movements as to reach Philippi 
at four o'clock the next morning. Colonel Dumont, who had charge of the 
other column, was ordered to repair to Webster, a small town on the Park- 
ersburg branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, four miles west from 
Grafton, and to inarch from that point toward Philippi, to appear before 
the town exactly at four o'clock on the morning of June 3. Colonel Kelley's 
task was the more difficult, for he followed roads that were very poor. Gen- 
eral Morris suspected that spies in and about Grafton would discover the 
movement and would carry the news to Colonel Porterfield at Philippi, and 
that he would hurriedly retreat, either toward Beverly or eastward to St. 
George, on Cheat River. Colonel Kelley was therefore ordered, in case he 
received positive intelligence that Porterfield had retreated eastward, to 
follow as fast as possible and endeavor to intercept him; at the same time 
he was to notify Colonel Dumont of the retreat and of the movement to in- 
tercept the Confederates. 

Colonel Kelley left Grafton in the early morning. It was generally 
supposed he was on his way to Harper's Ferry. Colonel Dumont's column 
left Grafton after dark on the evening of June 2. The march that night 
was through rain and in pitch darkness. This delayed Dumont's division, 
and it seemed that it would not be able to reach Philippi by the appointed 
time, but the men marched the last five miles in an hour and a quarter, and 
so well was everything managed that Kelley's and Dumont's forces arrived 
before Philippi within fifteen minutes of each other. The Confederates had 
not learned of the advance and were off their guard. The pickets fired a 
few shots and fled. The Union artillery opened on the camp and the utmost 


confusion prevailed. Colonel Porterfield ordered a retreat, and succeeded 
in saving the most of his men, but lost a considerable portion of the small 
supply of arms he had. He abandoned his camp and stores. This action 
was called the "Philipjfi Races," because of the haste with which the Con- 
federates fled and the Union forces pursued. Colonel Kelley, while leading 
the pursuit, was shot through the breast and was supposed to be mortally 
wounded, but he subsequently recovered and took an active part in the war 
until its close. 

General McClellan, who had not yet crossed the Ohio, was much 
encouraged by this victory, small as it appears in comparison with the mo- 
mentous events later in the war. The Union people of West Virginia were 
also much encouraged, and the Confederates were correspondingly 

Colonel Porterfield's cup of disappointment was full when, five days 
after his retreat from Philippi, he learned that he had been superseded by 
General Robert S. Garnett, who was on his way from Richmond to assume 
command of the Confederate forces in West Virginia. Colonel Porterfield 
had retreated to Huttonsville, in Randolph County, above Beverly, and 
there turned his command over to his successor. A court of inquiry was 
held to examine Colonel Porterfield's conduct. He was censured by the 
Richmond people who had sent him into West Virginia, had neglected him, 
had failed to supply him with arms or the adequate means of defense, and 
when he suffered defeat, they threw the blame on him when the most of it 
belonged to themselves. Little more than one month elapsed from that 
time before the Confederate authorities had occasion to understand more 
fully the situation beyond the Alieghanies; and the general who took Colo- 
nel Porterfields place, with seven or eight times his force of men and arms, 
conducted a far more disastrous retreat, and was killed while bringing off 
his broken troops from a lost battle. 

Previous to General McClellan's coming into West Virginia he issued a 
proclamation to the people, in which he stated the purpose of his coming, 
and why troops were about to be sent across the Ohio river. This procla- 
mation was written in Cincinnati, May 26, 1861, and sent by telegraph to 
Wheeling and Parkersburg, there to be printed and circulated. The people 
were told that the army was about to cross the Ohio as friends to all who 
were loyal to the Government of the United States; to prevent the destruc- 
tion of property by the rebels; to preserve order, to co-operate with loyal 
Virginians in their efforts to free the State from the Confederates, and to 
punish all attempts at insurrection among slaves, should they rise against 
their masters. This last statement was no doubt meant to allay the fears of 
many that as soon as a Union army was upon the soil there would be a 
slave insurrection, which, of all things, was most dreaded by those who 
lived among slaves. On the same clay General McClellan issued an address 
to his soldiers, informing them that they were about to cross the Ohio, and 
acquainting them with the duties to be performed. He told thsm they were 
to act in concert with the loyal Virginians in putting down the rebellion. 
He enjoined the strictest discipline and warned them against interfering 
with the rights or property of the loyal Virginians. He called on them to 
show mercy to those captured in arms, -for many of them were misguided. 
He stated that, when the Confederates had been driven from northwestern 
Virginia, the loyal people of that part of the State would be able to organize 
and arm, and would be competent to take care of themselves, and then the 


services of the troops from Ohio and Indiana would be no longer needed, 
and they could return to their homes. He little understood what the next 
four years would bring forth. 

Three weeks had not elapsed after Colonel Porterfield retreated from 
Philippi before General McClellau saw that something more was necessary 
before Western Virginia would be pacified. The Confederates had been 
largely reinforced at Huttonsville, and had advanced northward within 
twelve miles of Philippi and had fortified their camp. Philippi was at that 
time occupied by General Morris, and a collision between his forces and 
those of the Confederates was likely to occur at any time. General 
McClellan thought it advisable to be nearer the scene of operations, and 
on June 22, 1861, he crossed the Ohio with his staff and proceeded to Graf- 
ton, where he established his headquarters. He had at this time about 
twenty thousand soldiers in West Virginia, stationed from Wheeling to 
Grafton, from Parkersburg to the same place, and in the country round 

Colonel Porterfield was relieved of his command by General Garnett, 
June 14, 1861, and the military affairs of northwestern Virginia were looked 
after by Garnett in person. The Richmond Government and the Southern 
Confederacy had no intention of abandoning the country beyond the Alle- 
ghanies. On the contrary, it was resolved to hold it at all hazards; but 
subsequent events showed that the Confederates either greatly underesti- 
mated the strength of McClellan's army or greatly overestimated the 
strength of their own forces sent against him. Otherwise Garnett, with a 
force of only six thousand, would not have been pushed forward against 
the lines of an army of twenty thousand, and that, too, in a position so 
remote that Garnett was practically isolated from all assistance. Rein- 
forcements numbering about two thousand men were on the way from 
Staunton to Beverly at the time of Garnetfs defeat, but had these troops 
reached him in time to be of service, he would still have had not half as 
large a force as that of McClellan opposed to him. Military men have 
severely criticised General Lee for what they regard as a blunder in thus 
sending an army to almost certain destruction, with little hope of perform- 
ing any service to the Confederacy. 

Had the Confederates been able to hold the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road, the disaster attending General Garnett's campaign would probably 
not have occurred. With that road in their hands, they could have thrown 
soldiers and supplies into Grafton and Clarksburg within ten hours from 
Harper's Ferry. They would thus have had quick communication with 
their base of supplies and an open way to fall back when compelled to do 
so. But they did not hold the Baltimore and Ohio Road, and their only 
practicable route into Western Virginia, north of the Kanawha, was by 
wagon roads across the Alleghanies, by way of the Valley of Virginia. This 
was a long and difficult route by which to transport supplies for an army; 
and in case that army was compelled to retreat, the line of retreat was lia- 
ble to be cut by the enemy, as it actually was in the case of Garnett. 

On July 1, 1861, General Garnett had about four thousand five hundred 
men. The most of them were from Eastern Virginia and the States further 
south. A considerable part of them were Georgians who had recently 
been stationed at Pensacola, Florida. Reinforcements were constantly 
arriving over the Alleghanies, and by July 10 he had six thousand men. 
He moved northward and westward from Beverly and fortified two points 


on Laurel Hill, one named Camp Rich Mountain, six miles west of Beverly, 
the other fifteen miles north by west, near Belington, in Barbour County. 
These positions were naturally strong, and their strength was increased by 
fortifications of logs and stones. They were only a few miles from the out- 
posts of McClellan's army. Had the Confederate positions been attacked 
only from the front it is probably that they could have held out a con- 
siderable time. But there was little in the way of flank movements, and 
when McClellan made his attack, it was by flanking. General Garnett was 
not a novice in the field. He had seen service in the Mexican War; had 
taken part in many of the hardest battles; had fought Indians three years 
on the Pacific Coast, and at the outbreak of the Civil War he was traveling 
in Europe. He hastened home; resigned his position in the United States 
Army and joined the Confederate Army, and was almost immediately sent 
into West Virginia to be sacrificed. 

While the Confederates were fortifying their positions in Randolph and 
Barbour Counties, the Union forces were not idle. On June 22 General 
McClellan crossed the Ohio River at Parkersburg. The next day at Graf- 
ton he issued two proclamations, one to the citizens of West Virginia, the 
other to his soldiers. To the citizens he gave assurance again that he came 
as a friend, to uphold the laws, to protect the law-abiding, and to punish 
those in rebellion against the Government. In the proclamation to his 
soldiers he told them that he had entered West Virginia to bring peace to 
the peaceable and the sword to the rebellious who were in arms, but mercy 
to disarmed rebels. He began to concentrate his forces for an attack ^on 
Garnett. He moved his headquarters to Buckhannon on July 2, to be near 
the center of operations. Clarksburg was his base of supplies, and he con- 
structed a telegraph line as he advanced, one of the first, if not the very 
first, military telegraph lines in America. Prom Buckhannon he could move 
in any desired direction by good roads. He had fortified posts at Webster, 
Clarksburg, Parkersburg and Grafton. Eight days later he had moved his 
headquarters to Middle Pork, between Buckhannon and Beverly, and in the 
meantime his forces had made a general advance. He was now within sight 
of the Confederate fortifications on Rich Mountain. General Morris, who 
was leading the advance against Laurel Hill, was also within sight of the 
Confederates. There had already been some skirmishing, and all believed 
that the time was near when a battle would be fought. Colonel John 
Pegram, with thirteen hundred Confederates, was in command at Rich 
Mountain; and at Laurel Hill General Garnett, with between four thousand 
and five thousand men, was in command. There were about six hundred 
more Confederates at various points within a few miles. 

After examining the ground McClellan decided to make the first attack 
on the Rich Mountain works, but in order to divert attention from his real 
purpose, he ordered General Morris, who was in front of General Garnett's 
position, to bombard the Confederates at Laurel Hill. Accordingly shells 
were thrown in the direction of the Confederate works, some of which ex- 
ploded within the lines, but doing little damage. On the afternoon of July 
10 General McClellan prepared to attack Pegram at Rich Mountain, but 
upon examination of the approaches he saw that an attack in front would 
probably be unsuccessful. The Confederate works were located one and a 
half miles west of the summit of Rich Mountain, where the Staunton and 
Parkersburg pike crosses. When the Union forces reached the open coun- 
try at Roaring Creek, a short distance west of the Confederate position, 


Colonel Pegram planned an attack upon them, but upon mature reflection, 
abondoned it. There was a path leading from Roaring Creek across Rich 
Mountain to Beverly, north of the Confederate position, and Colonel Pegram 
guarded this path with troops under Colonel Scott, but he did not know that 
another path led across the mountain south of his position, by which 
McClellan could flank him. This path was left unguarded, and it was in- 
strumental in Pegram's defeat. General Rosecrans, who was in charge of 
one wing of the forces in front of the Confederate position, met a young 
man named David Hart, whose father lived one and a half miles in the rear 
of the Confederate fortifications, and he said he could pilot a force, by an 
obscure road, round the southern end of the Confederate lines and reach his 
father's farm, on the summit of the mountain, from which an attack on 
Colonel Pegram in the rear could be made. The young man was taken to 
General McClellan and consented to act as a guide. Thereupon General 
McClellan changed his plan from attacking in front to an attack in the rear. 
He moved a portion of his forces to the western base of Rich Mountain, 
ready to support the attack when made, and he then dispatched General 
Rosecrans, under the guidance of young Hart, by the circuitous route, to 
the rear of the Confederates. Rosecrans reached his destination and sent 
a messenger to inform General McClellan of the fact, and that all was in 
readiness for the attack. This messenger was captured by the Confeder- 
ates, and Pegram learned of the new danger which threatened him, while 
McClellan was left in doubt whether his troops had been able to reach the 
point for which they had started. Had it not been for this perhaps the 
fighting would have resulted in the capture of the Confederates. 

Colonel Pegram, finding that he was to be attacked from the rear, sent 
three hundred and fifty men to the point of danger, at the top of the moun- 
tain, and built the best breastworks possible in the short time at his disposal. 
When Rosecrans advanced to the attack he was stubbornly resisted, and 
the fight continued two or three hours, and neither side could gain any ad- 
vantage. Pegram was sending up reinforcements to the mountain when 
the Union forces made a charge and swept the Confederates from the field. 
Colonel Pegram collected several companies and prepared to renew the 
fight. It was now late in the afternoon of July 11. The men were panic- 
stricken, but they moved forward, and were led around the mountain with- 
in musket range of the Union forces that had remained on the battle ground. 
But the Confederates became alarmed and fled without making an attack. 
Their forces were scattered over the mountain, and night was coming 
on. Colonel Pegram saw that all was lost, and determined to make his way 
to Garnett's army, if possible, about fifteen miles distant, through the 
woods. He commenced collecting his men and sending them forward. It 
was after midnight when he left the camp and set forward with the last 
remnants of his men in an effort to reach the Confederate forces on Laurel 
Hill. The loss of the Confederates in the battle had been about forty-five 
killed and about twenty wounded. All their baggage and artillery fell into 
the hands of the Union army. Sixty-three Confederates were captured. 
Rosecrans lost twelve killed and forty-nine wounded. 

The retreat from Rich Mountain was disastrous. The Confederates 
were eighteen hours in groping their way twelve miles through the woods 
in the direction of Garnett's camp. Near sunset on July 12 they reached 
the Tygart River, three miles from the Laurel Hill camp, and there learned 
from the citizens that Garnett had already retreated and that the Union 


forces were in pursuit. There seemed only one possible avenue of escape 
©pen for Pegram's force. That was a miserable road leading across the 
mountains into Pendleton County. Pew persons lived near the road, and 
the outlook was that the men would starve to death if they attempted to 
make their way through. They were already starving. Accordmgly, Col- 
onel Pegram that night sent a flag of truce to Beverly, offering to surren- 
der, and at the same time stating that his men were starving. Early the 
next morning General McClellan sent several wagon loads of bread to them, 
and met them on their way to Beverly. The number of prisoners surren- 
dered was thirty officers and five hundred and twenty-five men. The 
remainder of the force at Rich Mountain had been killed, wounded, cap- 
tured and scattered. Colonel Scott, who had been holding the path leading 
over the mountain north of the Confederate position, learned of the defeat 
of Pegram and he made good his retreat over the Allegkanies by way of 

It now remains to be told how General Garnett fared. The fact that 
he had posted the greater part of his army on Laurel Hill is proof that he 
expected the principal attack to be made on that place. He was for a time 
deceived by the bombardment directed against him, but he was undeceived 
when he learned that Colonel Pegram had been defeated, and that General 
McClellan had thrown troops across Rich Mountain and had successfully 
turned the flank of the Confederate position. All that was left for Garnett 
was to withdraw his army while there was yet time. His line of retreat 
was the pike from Beverly to Staunton, and the Union forces were pushing 
forward to occupy that and to cut him off in that direction. On the after- 
noon of July 12, 1861, Garnett retreated, hastening to reach Beverly in ad- 
vance of the Union forces. On the way he met fugitives from Pegram's 
army and was told by them that McClellan had already reached Beverly, 
and that the road in that direction was closed. Thereupon Garnett turned 
eastward into Tucker County, over a very rough road. General Morris 
pursued the retreating Confederates over the mountain to Cheat River, 
skirmishing on the way. General Garnett remained in the rear directing 
his skirmishers, and on July 14, at Corrick's Ford, where Parsons, the 
county seat of Tucker County, has since been located, he found that he 
could no longer avoid giving battle. With a few hundred men he opened 
fire on the advance of the pursuing army and checked the pursuit. But in 
bringing off his skirmishers from behind a pile of driftwood, Garnett was 
killed and his men were seized with panic and fled, leaving his body on the 
field, with a score or more of dead. 

When it was found that the Confederates were retreating eastward 
Federal troops from Grafton, Rowlesburg and other points on the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad were ordered to cut off the retreat at St. George, 
in Tucker County. But the troops could not be concentrated in time, and 
the concentration was made at Oakland, in Maryland, with the expectation 
of intercepting the retreating Confederates at Red House, eight miles west 
of Oakland. 

Up to the time of the fight at Corrick's Ford the retreat had been 
orderly, but after that it became a rout. The roads were narrow and 
rough, and the excessive rains had rendered them almost impassible. 
Wagons and stores were abandoned, and when Horse Shoe Run, a long and 
narrow defile leading to the Red House, in Maryland, was reached inform- 
ation was received that Union troops from Rowlesburg and Oakland were 


at the Red House, cutting off retreat in that direction. The artillery was 
sent to the front. A portion of the cavalry was piloted by a mountaineer 
along a narrow path across the Backbone and Alleghany Mountains. The 
main body continued its retreat to the Red House, and pursued its way un- 
molested across the Alleghanies to Monterey. Two regiments marching 
in haste to reinforce Garnett at Laurel Hill had reached Monterey when 
news of Garnett's retreat was received. The regiments halted there, and 
as Garnett's stragglers came in they were re-organized. 

The Union army made no pursuit beyond Corrick's Ford, except that 
detachments followed to the Red House to pick up the stores abandoned by 
the Confederates. Garnett's body fell into the hands of the Union forces 
and was prepared for burial and sent to Richmond. It was carried in a 
canoe to Rowlesburg, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, thirty miles be- 
low, on Cheat River, in charge of Whitelaw Reid, who had taken part in 
the battle at Corrick's Ford. Reid was acting in the double capacity of cor- 
respondent for the Cincinnati Gazette and an aid on the staff of General Mor- 
ris. When Rowlesburg was reached Garnett's body was sent by express to 
Governor Letcher, at Richmond. 

This closed the campaign in that part of West Virginia for 1861. The 
Confederates had failed to hold the country. On July 22 General McClellan 
was transferred to Washington to take charge of military operations there. 
In comparison with the greater battles and more extensive campaign later 
in the war, the affairs in West Virginia were small. But they were of great 
importance at the time. Had the result been different, had the Confeder- 
ates held their ground at Grafton, Philippi, Rich Mountain and Laurel Hill, 
and had the Union forces been driven out of the State, across the Ohio, the 
outcome would have changed the history of the war, but probably not the 




After Garnett's retreat in July, 1861, there were few Confederates in 
West Virginia, west of the Alleghanies, except in the Kanawha Valley. 
But the Government at Richmond and the Confederate Government were 
not inclined to give up so easily the part of Virginia west of the mountains, 
and in a short time preparations were made to send an army from the east 
to re-conquer the territory beyond the Alleghanies. A large part of the 
army with which McClellan had defeated Garnett had been sent to other 
fields; the terms of enlistment of many of the soldiers had expired. When 
the Confederates re-crossed the mountains late in the summer of 1861 they 
were opposed by less than ten thousand Federals stationed in that moun- 
tainous part of West Virginia about the sources of the Greenbrier, the 
Tygart Valley River, Cheat, and near the source of the Potomac. In that 
elevated and rugged region a remarkable campaign was made. It was not 
remarkable because of hard fighting, for there was no pitched battle; but 
because in this campaign the Confederates were checked in their purpose 
of re-conquering the ground lost by Garnett and of extending their con- 
quest north and west. This campaign has also an historical interest 
because it was General Lee's first work in the field after he had been 
assigned the command of Virginia's land and sea forces. The outcome of 
the campaign was not what might be expected of a great and calculating 
general as Lee was. Although he had a larger army than his opponents in 
the field, and had at least as good ground, and although he was able to hold 
his own at every skirmish, yet, as the campaign progressed he constantly 
fell back. In September he fought at Elkwater and Cheat Mountain, in 
Randolph County; in October he fought at Greenbrier river, having fallen 
back from his first position. In December he had fallen back to the summit 
of the Alleghanies, and fought a battle there. It should be stated, however, 
that General Lee, although in command of the army, took part in person 
only in the skirmishing in Randolph County. The importance of this cam- 
paign entitles it to mention somewhat more in detail. 

General Reynolds succeeded General McClellan in command of this 
part of West Virginia. He advanced from Beverly to Huttonsville, a few 
miles above, and remained in peaceful possession of the country two 
months after Garnett's retreat, except that his scouting parties were con- 
stantly annoyed by Confederate irregulars, or guerrillas, usually called 
bushwhackers. Their mode of attack was, to lie concealed on the summits 
of cliffs, overhanging the roads or in thickets on the hillsides, and fire upon 
the Union soldiers passing below. They were justly dreaded by the Union 
troops. These bushwhackers were usually citizens of that district who had 


taken to the woods after their well-known southern sympathies had ren- 
dered it unsafe or unpleasant to remain at home while the country was 
occupied by the Union armies. They were excellent marksmen, minutely 
acquainted with all the ins and outs of the mountains and woods; and, from 
their manner of attack and flight, it was seldom that they were captured or 
killed. They hid about the outposts of the Union armies; picked off senti- 
nels ; wayland scouts ; ambushed small detachments, and fled to their moun- 
tain fastnesses where pursuit was out of the question. A war is considered 
severe in loss of life in which each soldier, taken as an average, kills one 
soldier on the other side, even though the war is prolonged for years. 
Yet, these bushwhackers often killed a dozen or more each, before being 
themselves killed. It can be readily understood why small detachments 
dreaded bushwhackers more than Confederate troops in pitched battle. 
Nor did the bushwhackers confine their attacks to small parties. They 
often fired into the ranks of armies on the march with deadly effect. While 
in the mountains of West Virginia General Averell's cavalry often suffered 
severely from these hidden guerrillas who fired and vanished. The bush- 
whacking was not always done by Confederates. Union soldiers or sympa- 
thizers resorted to it also at times. 

General Reynolds, with headquarters at Beverly, spent the summer of 
1861 in strengthening his position, and in attenuating to clear the country 
of guerrillas. Early in September he received information that large num- 
bers of Confederates were crossing the Alleghanies. General Loring 
established himself at Huntersville, in Pocahontas County, with 8500 men. 
He it was who had tried in vain to raise recruits in West Virginia for the 
Confederacy, even attempting to gain a foothold in Wheeling before 
McClellan's army crossed the Ohio River. He had gone to Richmond, and 
early in September had returned with an army. General H. R. Jackson 
was in command of another Confederate force of 6000 at Greenbrier River 
where the pike from Beverly to Staunton crosses that stream, in Pocahontas 
County. General Robert E. Lee was sent by the Government at Richmond 
to take command of both these armies, and he lost no time in doing so. 
No order sending General Lee into West Virginia has ever been found 
among the records of the Confederate Government. It was probably a 
verbal order, or he may have gone without any order. He concentrated 
his force at Big Spring, on Valley Mountain, and prepared to march north 
to the Baltimore and Ohio Road at Grafton. His design was nothing less 
than to drive the Union army out of northwestern Virginia. When the 
matter is viewed in the light of subsequent history, it is to be wondered at 
that General Lee did not succeed in his purpose. He had 14500 men, and 
only 9000 were opposed to him. Had he defeated General Reynolds; driven 
his army back; occupied Grafton, Clarksburg and other towns, it can be 
readily seen that the seat of war might have been changed to West Virginia. 
The United States Government would have sent an army to oppose Lee; 
and the Confederate Government would have pushed strong reinforcements 
across the mountains; and some of the great battles of the war might have 
been fought on the Monongahela river. The campaign in the fall of 1861, 
about the head waters of the principle rivers of West Virginia, therefore, 
derives its chief interest, not from battles, but from the accomplishment of 
a great purpose — the driving back of the Confederates — without a pitched 
battle. Virginia, as a State, made no determined effort after that to hold 
Western Virginia. By that time the campaign in the Kanawha Valley was 


drawing to a close and theConfederates were retiring. Consequently, Vir- 
ginia's and the Southern Confederacy's efforts west of the Alleghanies in 
this State were defeated in the fall of 1861. 

General Reynolds sent a regiment to Elkwater, and soon afterwards 
occupied Cheat Mountain. This point was the highest camp occupied by 
soldiers during the war. The celebrated "Battle Above the Clouds," on 
Lookout Mountain, was not one-half so high. The whole region, including 
parts of Pocahontas, Pendleton and Randolph Counties, has an elevation 
above three thousand feet, while the summits of the knobs and ridges rise 
to heights of more than four thousand, and some nearly five thousand feet. 
General Reynolds fortifier! his two advanced positions, Elkwater and Cheat 
Mountain. They were seven miles apart, connected by only a bridle path, 
but a circuitous wagon road, eighteen miles long, led from one to the other, 
passing around in the direction of Huttonsville. No sooner had the United 
States troops established themselves at Elkwater and Cheat Mountain than 
General Lee advanced, and skirmishing began. The Confederates threw a 
force between Elkwater and Cheat Mountain, and posted another force on 
the road in the direction of Huttonsville. They were attacked, and for 
three days there was skirmishing, but no general engagement. On Sep- 
tember 13 Colonel John A. Washington, in the Confederate service, was 
killed near Elkwater. He was a relative of President Washington, and also 
a relative General R. E. Lee, whose family and the Washingtons were 
closely connected. General Lee sent a flag of truce and asked for the body. 
It was sent to the Confederate lines on September 14. That day the Con- 
federates concentrated ten miles from Elkwater, and the next day again 
advanced, this time threatening Cheat Mountain, but their attack was un- 
successful. In this series of skirmishes the Union forces had lost nine 
killed, fifteen wounded and about sixty prisoners. The result was a defeat 
for the Confederates, who were thwarted in their design of penetrating 
northward and westward. The failure of the Confederates to bring on a 
battle was due to their different detachments not acting in concert. It was 
Lee's plan to attack both positions at the same time. He sent detachments 
against Elkwater and Cheat Mountain. The sound of cannon attacking one 
position was to be the signal for attacking the other. The troops marched 
in rain and mud, along paths and in the woods, and when they found them 
selves in front of the Federal position, the detachment which was to have 
begun the attack failed to do so. The other detachment waited in vain for 
the signal, and then retreated. General Lee was much hurt by the failure 
of his plan.* 

General Lorinsr's army of 8,500, which was camped at Hunters ville, in 
Pocahontas County, was sent to that place for a particular purpose. He 
was to sweep round toward the west, then march north toward Weston and 
Clarksburg, strike the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and by threatening or 
cutting off General Reynolds' line of communication with his base of sup- 
plies, compel him to fall back. This plan was General Lee's. He left its 
execution to General Loring, who moved slowly, halted often, camped long, 
hesitated frequently, and consumed much valuable time. His men became 
sick. Rains made progress difficult, and he did not seem in a hurry to get 
along. General Lee waited but Loring still failed to march. He was an 
older officer than Lee, and although Lee had a right to order him forward, 

* See H. A. White's Life of Robert E. Lee. 


he refrained from doing so for fear of wounding Loring's feelings. The 
time for executing the movement passed, and the flank movement, which 
probably would have succeeded, was given up. 

The Confederates were not yet willing to abandon West Virginia. They 
fell back to the Greenbrier River, thirteen miles from the Union camp, on 
Cheat Mountain, and fortified their position. They were commanded by 
General H. R. Jackson, and their number was believed to be about nine 
thousand. On October 3, 1861, General Reynolds advanced at the head of 
five thousand troops. During the first part of the engagement the Union 
forces were successful, driving the Confederates nearly a mile, but here 
several batteries of artillery were encountered, and reinforcements arriving 
to the support of the Confederates, the battle was renewed and General 
Reynolds was forced to fall back, with a loss of nine killed and thirty -five 
wounded. On December 10 General Reynolds was transferred to. other 
fields, and the command of the Union forces in the Cheat Mountain district 
was given to General R. H. Milroy. Within three days after he assumed 
command he moved forward to attack the Confederate camp on the summit 
of the Alleghanies. The Confederates had gone into winter quarters there; 
and as the weather was severe, and as the Union forces appeared satisfied 
to hold what they had without attempting any additional conquests in mid- 
winter, the Confederates were not expecting an attack. However, on 
December 13, 1861, General Milroy moved forward and assaulted their posi- 
tion. The fighting was severe for several hours, and finally resulted in the 
retreat of the Union forces. The Confederates made no attempt to follow. 
General Milroy marched to Huntersville, in Pocahontas county, and went 
into winter quarters. The Rebels remained on the summit of the Allegha- 
nies till spring and then went over the mountains, out of West Virginia, 
thus ending the attempt to re-conquer northwestern Virginia. 

It now remains to be seen what success attended the efforts of the Con- 
federates to gain control of the Kanawha Valley. Their campaign in West 
Virginia for the year 1861 was divided into two parts, in the northwest and 
in the Kanawha Valley. General Henry A. Wise was ordered to the Kana- 
wha June 6, two days before General Garnett was ordered to take command 
of the troops which had been driven south from Grafton. Colonel Tomp- 
kins was already on the Kanawha in charge of Confederate forces. The 
authorities at Richmond at that time believed that a General, with the 
nucleus of an ai'my in the Kanawha Valley, could raise all the troops neces- 
sary among the people there. On April 29 General Lee had ordered Major 
John McCausland to the Kanawha to organize companies for the Confed- 
eracy. Only five hundred flint-lock muskets could be had at that time to 
arm the troops in that quarter. General Lee suggested that the valley 
could be held by posting the force below Charleston. Very poor success 
attended the efforts at raisiug volunteers, and the arms found in the district 
were insufficient to equip the men. Supplies were sent as soon as possible 
from Virginia. 

When General Wise arrived and had collected all his forces he had 
8,000 men, of whom 2,000 were militia from Raleigh, Payette and Mercer 
Counties. With these he was expected to occupy the Kanawha Valley, and 
resist invasion should Union forces attempt to penetrate that part of the 
State. General John B. Floyd, who had been Secretary of War under Pres- 
ident Buchanan, was guarding the railroad leading from Richmond into 
Tennessee, and was posted south of the present limits of West Virginia, but 


within supporting distance of General "Wise. In case a Union army invaded 
the Kanawha Valley it was expected that General Floyd would unite his 
forces with those of General Wise, and that they would act in concert if 
not in conjunction. General Floyd was the older officer, and in case their 
forces were consolidated he would be the commander-in-chief. But Gen- 
eral Floyd and General Wise were enemies. Their hatred for the Yankees 
was less than their hatred for each other. They were both Virginia politi- 
cians, and they had crossed each other's paths too often in the past to be 
reconciled now. General Lee tried in vain to induce them to work in har- 
mony. They both fought the Union troops bravely, but never in concert. 
When Wise was in front of General Cox, General Floyd was elsewhere. 
When Floyd was pitted in battle against General Rosecrans, General Wise 
was absent. Thus the Union troops beat these quarreling Virginia Briga- 
dier Generals in detail, as will be seen in the following narrative of the 
campaign during the summer and fall of 1861 in the Kanawha Valley. 

When Generals Wise and Floyd were sent to their distiicts in the West 
it was announced in their camps that they would march to Clarksburg, 
Parkersburg and Wheeling. This would have brought them in conflict with 
General McClellan's army. On July 2 McClellan put troops in motion 
against the Confederates in the Kanawha Valley. On that date he appoint- 
ed General J. D. Cox to the command of regiments from Kentucky and 
Ohio, and ordered him to cross the Ohio at Gallipolis and take possession 
of Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Kanawha. On July 23 General Rose- 
crans succeeded McClellan in command of the Department of Ohio. Rose- 
crans pushed the preparation for a vigorous campaign, which had already 
been commenced. He styled the troops under General Cox the Brigade of 
Kanawha. On July 17, in Putnam County, a fight occurred between de- 
tachments of Union and Confederate forces, in which the latter appeared 
for the time victorious, but soon retreated eastward. From that time until 
September 10 there was constant skirmishing between the armies, the ad- 
vantage being sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other; but the 
Union forces constantly advanced and the Confederates fell back. On 
August 1 General Wise was in Greenbrier County, and in a report made to 
•General Lee on that date, he says he fell back not a moment too soon. He 
complained that his militia were worthless as soldiers, and urged General 
Lee to send him guns and other arms, and clothing and shoes, as his men 
were ragged and barefooted. On August 20 General Rosecrans was at 
Clarksburg preparing to go in person to lead reinforcements into the Kana- 
wha. He issued a proclamation to the people of West Virginia, calling on 
them to obey the laws, maintain order and co-operate with the military in 
its efforts to drive the armed Confederates from the State. 

Prior to that time Colonel E. B. Tyler, Avith a Federal force, had ad- 
vanced to the Gauley River, and on August 13 he took up a position at 
Cross Lanes. He thus covered Carnifex Ferry. General Cox was at that 
time on the Gauley River, twenty miles lower down, near the mouth of that 
stream, nearly forty miles above Charleston. General Floyd advanced, and 
on August 26 crossed the Gauley at Carnifex Ferry with 2,500 men, and fell 
upon Colonel Tyler at Cross Lanes with such suddenness that the Union 
troops were routed, with fifteen killed and fifty wounded. The latter fell 
into the hands of the Confederates, who took fifty other prisoners also. The 
remainder of Tyler's force made its retreat to Charleston, and General 
Floyd fortified the position just gained and prepared to hold it. On Sep- 


tember 3 General Wise made an attack on General Cox at Gauley Bridge, 
near the mouth of the river, twenty miles below Carnifex Perry. The at- 
tack failed. The Confederates were beaten and were vigorously pursued. 
Had Wise held Gauley Bridge, Floyd already being in possession of Carni- 
fex Ferry, they would have been in positions to dispute the further advance 
of the Union forces up the Kanawha Valley. 

General Rosecrans left Clarksburg September 3, with re-inforcements, 
and after a march of seven days reached Carnifex Ferry, and that same 
evening began an attack upon the Confederates under General Floyd, who 
were entrenched on top of a mountain on the west bank of the Gauley 
River, in Nicholas County. General Floyd had about 4000 men and sixteen 
cannon, and his position was so well protected by woods, that assault, with 
chance of success, was considered exceedingly difficult. He had fortitied 
this naturally strong position, and felt confident that it could not be cap- 
tured by any force the Union general could bring against him. The fight 
began late in the afternoon, General Rosecrans having marched seventeen 
miles that day. It was not his purpose to bring on a general engagement 
that afternoon, and he directed his forces to advance cautiously and find 
where the enemy lay; for the position of the Confederates was not yet 
known. While thus advancing a camp was found in the woods, from which 
the Confederates had evidently fled in haste. Military stores and private 
property were scattered in confusion. Prom this fact it was supposed that 
the enemy was in retreat, and the Union troops pushed on through thickets 
and over ridges. Presently they discovered that they had been mistaken. 
They were fired upon by the Confederate army in line of battle. From 
that hour until darkness put a stop to the fighting, the battle continued. 
The Union troops had not been able to carry any of the Rebel works; and 
General Rosecrans withdrew his men for the night, prepared to renew the 
battle next morning. But during the night General Floyd retreated. He 
had grown doubtful of his ability to hold out if the attack was resumed with 
the same impetuosity as on the preceding evening. But he was more fear- 
ful that the Union troops would cut off his retreat if he remained. So, 
while it was yet time, he withdrew in the direction of Lewisbm-g, in Green- 
brier County, destroying the bridge over the Gauley, and also the ferry 
across that stream. General Rosecrans was unable to pursue because he 
could not cross the river. It is a powerful, turbulent stream, and at this 
place flows several miles down a deep gorge, filled with rocks and cataracts. 
Among spoils which fell into the hands of the victors was General Floyd's 
hospital, in which were fifty wounded Union soldiers who had been captured 
when Colonel Tyler was driven from this same place on August 26. Gen- 
eral Rosecrans lost seventeen killed and one hundred and forty-one wounded 
The Confederate loss was never ascertained. 

After a rest of a tew days the Union army advanced to Big Sewell 
Mountain. The weather was wet, and the roads became so muddy that it 
was almost impossible to haul supplies over them. For this reason it was 
deemed advisable to fall back. On October 5 General Rosecrans began to 
withdraw his forces to Gauley Bridge, and in the course of two weeks had 
transferred his command to that place, where he had water communication 
with" his base of supplies. 

On November 10 another action was fought between General Floyd and 
General Rosecrans, in which the Confederates were defeated. This virtu- 
ally closed the campaign for the year 1861 in that quarter, and resulted in 


the occupation of all the lower Kanawha Valley and the greater part of the 
upper valley. The Confederates were finally driven out, and never again 
obtained a foothold in that part of the State, although large bodies were at 
times in the Valley of the Kanawha, and occasionally remained a consider- 
able time. 

The Confederate Government, and the State of Virginia as a member of 
that Government, had an object in view when they sent their forces into 
West Virginia at the commencement of the Civil War. Virginia as a State 
was interested in retaining the territory between the Alleghany Mountains 
and the Ohio River and did not believe she could do so without force and 
arms, because her long neglect and oppression had alienated the western 
counties. Virginia correctly judged that they would seize the first oppor- 
tunity and organize a separate State. To prevent them from doing so, and 
to retain that large part of her domain lying west of the Alleghanies, were 
the chief motives which prompted Virginia, as a State, to invade the west- 
ern part of her own territory, even before open war was acknowledged to 
exist between the Southern Confederacy and the United States Government. 
The purpose which prompted the Southern Confederacy to push troops 
across the Alleghanies in such haste was to obtain possession of the coun- 
try to the borders of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and to fortify the frontiers 
against invasion from the north and west. It was well understood at the 
headquarters of the Southern Confederacy that the thousands of soldiers 
already mustering beyond the Ohio River, and the tens of thousands who 
would no doubt soon take the Held in the same quarter, would speedily cross 
the Ohio, unless prevented. The bold move which the South undertook 
was to make the borders of Ohio and Pennsylvania the battle ground. The 
southern leaders did not at that time appreciate the magnitude of the war 
which was at hand. If they had understood it, and had had a military man 
in the place of Jefferson Davis, it is probable that the battle ground would 
have been different from what it was. Consequently, to rightly understand 
the early movements of the Confederates in West Virginia, it is necessary 
to consider that their purpose was to hold the country to the Ohio river. 
Their effort was weak, to be sure, but that was partly due to their miscal- 
culation as to the assistance they would receive from the people of West 
Virginia. If they could have organized an army of forty thousand West 
Virginians and reinforced them with as many more men from the South, it 
can be readily seen that McClellan could not have crossed the Ohio as he 
did. But the scheme failed. The West Virginians not only would not 
enlist in the Confederate army, but they enlisted in the opposing force; and 
when Garnett made his report from Laurel Hill he told General Lee that, 
for all the help he received from the people, he might as well carry on a 
campaign in a foreign country. From that time it was regarded by the Con- 
federates as the enemy's country; and when, later in the war, Jones, Jack- 
son, Imboden and others made raids into West Virginia they acted toward 
persons and property in the same way as when raids were made in Ohio and 

The Baltimoi-e and Ohio Railroad, crossing West Virginia from Har- 
per's Ferry to Wheeling, and from Grafton to Parkersburg, was considered 
of the utmost importance by both the North and the South. It was so near 
the boundary between what was regarded as the Southern Confederacy and 
the North that during the early part of the war neither the one side nor the 
other felt sure of holding it. The management of the road was in sympa- 


thy with the North, but an effort was made to so manage the property as 
not to give cause for hostility on the part of the South. At one time the 
trains were run in accordance with a time table prepared by Stonewall 
Jackson, even as far as Locust Point. * It was a part of the Confederate 
scheme in West Virginia to obtain possession and control, in a friendly way 
if possible, of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The possession of it would 
not only help the Confederacy in a direct way, but it would cripple the Fed- 
eral Government and help the South in an indirect way. Within six days 
after General Lee was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia armies 
he instructed Major Loring, at Wheeling, to direct his military operations 
for the protection of the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on 
the Ohio River, and also to protect the road elsewhere. Major Boykin was 
ordered to give protection to the road in the vicinity of Grafton. General 
Lee insisted that the peaceful business of the road must not be interfered 
with. The branch to Parkersburg was also to be protected. Major Boy- 
kin was told to "hold the road for the benefit of Maryland and Virginia." 
He was advised to obtain the co-operation of the officers oi the road and 
afford them every assistance. When Colonel Porterfield was ordered to 
Grafton, on May 4, 1861, among the duties marked out for him by General 
Lee was the holding of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and to prevent its 
being used to the injury of Virginia. 

No one has ever supposed that the Southern Confederacy wanted the 
Baltimore and Ohio Road protected because of any desire to befriend that 
company. The leaders of the Confederacy knew that the officers of the 
road were not friendly to secession. As soon as Western Virginia had 
slipped out of the grasp of the Confederacy, and when the railroad could 
no longer help the South to realize its ambition of fortifying the banks of 
the Ohio, the Confederacy threw off the mask and came out in open hostil- 
ity. George Deas, Inspector General of the Confederate Army, urged that 
the railroad be destroyed, bridges burned along the line, and the tunnels 
west of the Alleghanies blown up so that no troops could be carried east 
from the Ohio River to the Potomac. This advice was partly carried out 
by a raid from Romney on June 19, 1861, after Colonel Porterfield had 
retreated from Grafton and had been driven from Philippi. But the dam- 
age to the road was not great and repairs were speedily made. Governor 
Letcher, of Virginia, had recommended to the Legislature a short time be- 
fore, that the Baltimore and Ohio Road ought to be destroyed. He said: 
"The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad has been a positive nuisance to this 
State, from the opening of the war till the present time. And unless the 
management shall hereafter be in friendly hands, and the government un- 
der which it exists be a part of our Confederacy, it must be abated. If it 
should be permanently destroyed we must assure our people of some other 
communication with the seaboard, "f Prom that time till the close of the 
war the Confederacy inflicted every damage possible upon the road, and in 
many instances the damage was enormous. 

When General Garnett established himself in Randolph and Barbour 
Counties, in June, 1861, he made an elaborate plan of attack on the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad. He intended to take possession of Evansville, in 
Preston County, and using that as a base, destroy east and west. The high 

* See the History of the War, by General John D. Imboden. 
t Records of the Rebellion. 


trestles along the face of Laurel Hill, west of Rowlesburg, and the bridge 
across Cheat River at Rowlesburg, and the long tunnel at Tunnel ton were 
selected for the first and principal destruction. General Garnett had the 
road from Rowlesburg up Cheat River to St. George surveyed with a view 
to widening and improving it, thereby making of it a military road by which 
he could advance or fall back, in case the road from Beverly to Evansville 
should be threatened. General Imboden twice made dashes over the Alle- 
ghanies at the head of Cheat River and struck for the Rowlesburg trestles, 
but each time fell back when he reached St. George. In the spring of 1863, 
when the great raid into West Virginia was made under Jones, Imboden and 
Jackson, every possible damage was done the Baltimore and Ohio Road, 
but again the Rowlesburg trestles escaped, although the Confederates ap- 
proached within two miles of them. 

It is proper to state here that an effort was made, after fighting had 
commenced, to win the West Virginians over to the cause of the South by 
promising them larger privileges than they had ever before enjoyed. On 
June 14, 1861, Governor Letcher issued a proclamation, which was pub- 
lished at Huttonsville, in Randolph County, and addressed to the people of 
Northwestern Virginia. In this proclamation he promised them that the 
injustice from unequal taxation of which they had complained in the past, 
should exist no longer. He said that the eastern part of the State had 
expressed a willingness to relinquish exemptions from taxation, which it 
had been enjoying, and was willing to share all the burdens of government. 
The Governor promised that in state affairs, the majority should rule; and 
he called upon the people beyond the Alleghanies, in the name of past 
friendship and of historic memories, to espouse the cause of the Southern 
Confederacy. It is needless to state that this proclamation fell flat. The 
people of Western Virginia would have hailed with delight a prospect of 
redress of grievances, had it come earlier. But its coming was so long 
delayed that they doubted both the sincerity of those who made the prom- 
ise and their ability to fulfill. Twenty thousand soldiers had already 
crossed the Ohio, and had penetrated more than half way from the river to 
the Alleghanies, and they had been joined by thousands of Virginians. It 
was a poor time for Governor Letcher to appeal to past memories or to 
promise justice in the future which had been denied in the past. Coming 
as the promise did at that time, it looked like a death-bed repentance. The 
Southern Confederacy had postponed fortifying the bank of the Ohio until 
too late; and Virginia had held out the olive branch to her neglected and 
long-suffering people beyond the mountains when it was too late. They 
had already cast their lot with the North ; and already a powei'f ul army had 
crossed the Ohio to their assistance. Virginia's day of dominion west of 
the Alleghanies was nearing its close; and the Southern Confederacy's hope 
of empire there was already doomed. 




In this chapter will be given an outline of the progress of the Civil War 
on the soil of West Virginia or immediately affecting the State. As there 
were more than three hundred battles and skirmishes within the limits of 
the State, and numerous scouts, raids and campaigns, it will be possible in 
the brief space of one chapter to give little more than the date of each, with 
a word of explanation or description. In former chapters the history of the 
opening of the war and accounts of the leading campaigns have been given. 
It yet remains to present in their chronological sequence the events of 
greater or lesser importance which constitute the State's war record. 


April 17. The Ordinance of Secession was adopted by the Virginia 
Convention at Richmond. 

April 18. Harper's Perry was abandoned by the Federal troops. 
Lieutenant Roger Jones, the commandant, learning that more than two 
thousand Virginia troops were advancing to attack him, set fire to the 
United States armory and machine shops and retreated into Pennsylvania. 
Fifteen minutes after he left Harper's Perry the Virginia forces arrived. * 

April 23. General Robert E. Lee assigned to the command of Virginia's 
land and naval forces. 

April 27. Colonel T. J. Jackson assigned to the command of the Vir- 
ginia forces at Harper's Perry. 

May 1. Governor Letcher calls out the Virginia militia. 

May 3. Additional forces called for by the Governor of Virginia. The 
call was disregarded by nearly all the counties west of the Alleghanies. 

May 4. Colonel George A. Porterfield assigned to the command of all 
the Confederate forces in Northwestern Virginia. 

May 10. General Robert E. Lee assigned to the command of the forces 
of the Confederate States serving in Virginia. 

May 13. General George B. McClellan assigned to the command of the 
Department of the Ohio, embracing West Virginia. 

May 14. The Confederates at Harper's Perry seized a train of cars. 

May 15. General Joseph E. Johnston assigned to the command of Con- 
federate troops near Harper's Perry. 

May 22. Bailey Brown was killed by a Confederate picket at Petter- 

* This chapter is compiled chiefly from the Records of the Rebellion, published by the United States 
War Department. A few of the Items are from the West Virginia Adjutant General's Reports for 1865 and 
1800, and a small number from other sources. The reports of officers, both Federal and Confederate, have 
been consulted in arriving at conclusions as to numbers engaged, the losses and the victory or defeat of 


man, Taylor County. Brown was the first enlisted man of the United States 
volunteer service killed in the war. 

May 26. Federal forces from beyond the Ohio and those about Wheel- 
ing began to move against Grafton where Confederates, under Colonel Por- 
terfield, had established themselves. 

May 27. Captain Christian Roberts was killed by Federals under 
Lieutenant West, in a skirmish at Glover's Gap, between Wheeling and 
Fairmont. Captain Roberts was the first armed Confederate soldier killed 
in the war. 

May 30. Grafton was occupied by Federal forces, the Confederates 
having retreated to Philippi. 

June 3. Fight at Philippi and retreat of the Confederates into Ran- 
dolph County. 

June 6. Ex-Governor Henry A. Wise was sent to the Kanawha Valley 
to collect troops for the Confederacy. 

June 8. General R. S. Garnett superseded Colonel Porterfield in com- 
mand of Confederate forces in West Virginia. 

June 10. A Federal force was sent from Rowlesburg to St. George, in 
Tucker County, capturing a lieutenant and two Confederate flags. 

June 14. Governor Letcher, of Virginia, published at Huttonsville, 
Randolph County, a proclamation to the people west of the Alleghanies, 
urging them to stand by Virginia in its Secession, and promising them, if 
they would do so, that the wrongs of which they had so long complained 
should exist no more, and that the western counties should no longer be 
domineered over by the powerful eastern counties. 

June 19. Skirmish near Keyser. Confederates under Colonel John C. 
Vaughn advanced from Romney and burned Bridge No. 21 on the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad, and defeated the Cumberland Home Guards, capturing 
two small cannon. 

June 23. Skirmish between Federals and Confederates at Righter's. 

June 26. Skirmish on Patterson Creek, Hampshire County, in which 
Richard Ashby was killed by thirteen Federals under Corporal David Hays. 

June 29. Skirmish at Hannahsville, in Tucker County, in which Lieu- 
tenant Robert McChesney was killed by Federals under Captain Miller. 

July 2. Fight at Falling Waters, near Martinsburg. Colonel John C. 
Starkweather defeated Stonewall Jackson. This was Jackson's first skir- 
mish in the Civil War. 

July 4. Skirmish at Harper's Ferry. Federals under Lietenant Gal- 
braith were fired upon from opposite bank of the river. The Federals fell 
back with a loss of 4. 

July 6. The forces under McClellan which were advancing upon Rich 
Mountain encountered Confederate o'utposts at Middle Fork Bridge, eighteen 
miles west of Beverly. The Federals fell back. 

July 7. The Federals drove the Confederates from Middle Fork 

July 7. Skirmish at Glennville, Gilmer County. 

July 8. Skirmish at Belington, Barbour County. General Morris with 
the left wing of McClellan's army attempted to dislodge the Confederates 
from the woods in the rear of the village, and was repulsed, losing 2 killed 
and 3 wounded. 

July 11. Battle of Rich Mountain. The Confederates under Colonel 
Pegram were defeated by General Rosecrans. 


July 12. General Garnett, with 4,585 Confederates, retreated from 
Laurel Hill through Tucker County, pursued by General Morris with 3,000 

July 12. Beverly was occupied by McClellan's forces, and a Confeder- 
ate force, under Colonel Scott, retreated over Cheat Mountain toward 

July 13. Colonel Pegram surrendered six miles from Beverly to 
McClellan's army. 

July 13. Battle of Corrick's Ford, in * Tucker County. Garnett was 
killed and his army routed by Federals under General Morris. 

July 13. General Lew Wallace with a Federal force advanced from 
Keyser and captured Romney. 

July 15. Harper's Ferry was evacuated by the Confederates. 

July 16. Skirmish at Barboursville, Cabell County. The Confederates 
were defeated. 

July 17. Scarry Creek skirmish. Colonel Patton, with 1200 Confeder- 
ates, defeated an equal number of Federals under Colonel Norton. 

July 20. General W. W. Loring was placed in command of the Confed- 
erate forces in Northwestern Virginia. 

August 1. General R. E. Lee was sent to take command of Confederate 
forces in West Virginia. 

August 11. General John B. Floyd took command of Confederate 
troops in the Kanawha Valley. 

August 13. A Federal force was sent from Grafton into Tucker 
County, capturing 15 prisoners, 90 guns, 150 horses and cattle and 15000 
rounds of ammunition. 

August 25. The Confederates were defeated in a skirmish at Piggot's 

August 26. Fight at Cross Lanes, near Summerville. While the Fed- 
erals were eating breakfast they were attacked and defeated by General 

September 1. Skirmish at Blue Creek. 

September 2. Skirmish near Hawk's Nest in Fayette County. General 
Wise with 1,250 men attacked the Federals of equal force, but was repulsed. 

Sex>tember 10. Battle of Carnifex Ferry. 

September 12. Skirmish at Cheat Mountain Pass, near Huttonsville. 
The Confederates under General Lee were repulsed in their attempt to fall 
upon the rear of the Federals. « 

September 13. Fight on Cheat Mountain. The Confederates were de- 
feated. General Lee was foiled in his attempt on Elk Water. 

September 14. Second skirmish at Elk Water. The Confederates were 
again unsuccessful. 

September 15. The Confederates again were foiled in their attempt to 
advance to the summit of Cheat Mountain. 

September 16. Skirmish at Princeton, Mercer County. 

September 24. Skirmish at Hanging Rocks, in Hampshire County. The 
Federals were defeated. 

September 24. Skirmish at Mechanicsburg Gap, Hampshire County. 
The. Federals were defeated. 

September 25. Colonel Cantwell defeated the Confederates under Col- 
onel Angus McDonald and captured Romney, but was afterwards forced to 


September 27. Captain Isaiah Hall was defeated by Confederate guer- 
rillas at High Log Cabin Run, Wirt County. 

October 3. Fight at Greenbrier River. The Federals were repulsed 
after severe fighting, but the Confederates fell back to the summit of the 

October 16. Skirmish near Bolivar Heights. About 500 Confederates 
under Turner Ashby attacked 600 Federals under Colonel John W. Geary. 
The Confederates were defeated. 

October 19. There was skirmishing on New River, with various results. 

October 23. Skirmishing on the Gauley between detachments of Fed- 
erals and Confederates. 

October 23. Colonel J. N. Clarkson, with a raiding force of Confeder- 
ates, unsuccessfully attacked a steamer on the Kanawha. 

October 26. Colonel Alexander Monroe, with 27 Hampshire County 
militia, attacked and defeated a large Federal force at Wire Bridge, on 
South Branch of the Potomac. 

October 26. General Kelley with 3,000 Federals defeated Colonel 
McDonald's militia and captured Romney. 

November 1. Commencement of a series of skirmishes for three days, 
near Gauley Bridge. 

November 10. Skirmishes at Blake's Farm and Cotton Hill, with attend- 
ant movements, occupying two days. 

November 10. Fight at Guyandotte. J. C. Wheeler, with 150 recruits, 
was surprised and cut to pieces by Confederate raiders under J. N. Clark- 
son. Among the Union prisoners was Uriah Payne, of Ohio, who was the 
first to plant the United States flag on the walls of Monterey, Mexico. 
Tx'oops soon crossed to Guyandotte from Ohio and the Rebels retreated. A 
portion of the town was burned by the Federals. 

November 12. Skirmish on Laurel Creek. 

November 14. Skirmish near McCoy's Mill. 

November 30. A detachment of Union troops was attacked by guerrillas 
on the South Branch, above Romney. The Federals retreated, with three 
wounded and a loss of six horses. 

November 30. Skirmish near the mouth of Little Capon, in Morgan 
County. Captain Dyche defeated the Rebels. 

December 13. Battle at Camp Alleghany. The Federals were defeated 
with a loss of 137 in killed and wounded. 

December 15. Major E. B. Andrews set out on an expedition of six days 
to Meadow Bluff; defeated the Confederate skirmishers and captured a large 
amount of property. 

December 28. Union forces occupied the county seat of Raleigh. 

December 29. Sutton, Braxton County, was captured by 135 Rebels. 
The Union troops under Captain Rawland retreated to Weston. The Con- 
federates burned a portion of the town. 

December 30. Expedition into Webster County by 400 Union troops under 
Captain Anisansel. He pursued the Confederates who had burned Sutton; 
overtook them at Glades; defeated them; killed 22 and burned 29 houses be- 
lieved to belong to Rebel bushwhackers. 


January 3. Fight at Bath, in Morgan county, continuing two days. 
The Confederates under Stonewall Jackson victorious. 


January 3. Major George Webster, with 700 Union troops, marched 
from Huttoiisrille to Huntersvill», in Pocahontas County, drove out 250 
Confederates, captured and destroyed military stores worth $30,000. These 
were the first Federals in Huntersville. 

January 4. Skirmish at Sir John's Run, Morgan County. The fight 
continued late into the night. The Federals retreated. 

January 4. Skirmish at Slanesville, Hampshire County. A squad of 
Union troops under Captain Sauls was ambushed and routed. Captain Sauls 
was wounded and taken prisoner. The Confederates were under Captain 
Isaac Kuykendall. 

January 5. On or about January 5 the village of Frenchburg, six miles 
from Romney, was burned by order of General Lander on the charge that 
the people harbored Rebel bushwhackers. 

January 5. Big Capon Bridge, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, was 
destroyed by Confederates under Stonewall Jackson. 

January 7. Fight at Blue's Gap, Hampshire County, in which the Con- 
federates were defeated and lost two cannon — the same guns captured at 
Bridge No. 21 by the Confederates, June 19, 1861. 

January 10. The Federal troops evacuated Romney. 

January 11. Romney occupied by troops under Stonewall Jackson. 

January 14. The seat of Logan County was burned by Union troops 
under Colonel E. Siber. 

January 31. Confederates evacuated Romney by order of the Secretary 
of War of the Confederate States. 

January 31. Stonewall Jackson, indignant at the interference with his 
plans by the Secretary of War, in recalling troops from Romney, tendered 
his resignation. He was persuaded by Governor Letcher, General Johns- 
ton and others to recall it. 

February 2. Confederates at Springfield, Hampshire County, were de- 
feated by General Lander. 

February 8. Skirmish at the mouth of Blue Stone. Colonel William E. 
Peters, with 225 Confederates, was attacked by an equal force. The Fed- 
erals retreated. 

February 12. Fight at Moorefield, in which the Confederates retreated. 

February 14. Confederates driven from Bloomery Gap, in Morgan 

February 16. The Union troops were defeated at Bloomery Gap and 
compelled to retreat. 

February 26. The Patterson Creek Bridge, in Mineral County, was 
burned by Rebel guerrillas. 

March 3. Skirmish at Martinsburg. 

April 12. Raid from Fairmont to Boothville by Captain J. H. Showal- 
ter, who was ordered by General Kelley to capture or kill John Righter, 
John Anderson, David Barker, Brice Welsh, John Lewis, John Knight and 
Washington Smith, who were agents sent by Governor Letcher into north- 
western Virginia to raise recruits for the Confederacy. Captain Showalter 
killed three men of Righter's company. 

April 17. Defeat of the Webster County guerrillas, known as Dare 
Devils, by Major E. B. Andrews, who marched from Summerville to Addi- 
son with 200 Federals. There were several skirmishes between April 17 
and April 21. Several houses belonging to the guerrillas were burned. 


April 18. An expedition was sent by General Schenck to clear the 
North Fork and Senaca in Pendleton County of Rebel bushwhackers. 

April 18. Colonel T. M. Harris skirmished with Rebel bushwhackers 
in Webster County, killing 5 and burning 5 houses. 

April 23. Skirmish at Grassy Lick, in Hampshire County. Confeder- 
ate bushwhackers under Captain Umbaugh, who held a commission from 
Governor Letcher, concealed themselves in the house of Peter Poling and 
fired upon Colonel S. W. Downey's scouting party, killing three. Troops 
were sent from Romney and Moorefield and burned the house, after mor- 
tally wounding its owner. 

May 1. Lieutenant Fitzhugh with 200 Federals was attacked near 
Princeton, Mercer County, and fought thirteen hours while retreating 23 
miles, losing 1 killed, 12 wounded. 

May 1. Skirmish at Camp Creek on Blue Stone River. Lieutenant 
Bottsford was attacked by 300 Rebels and lost 1 killed and 20 wounded. 
The Confederates were repulsed with 6 killed. 

May 7. Skirmish near Wardensville, Hardy County. Troops under 
Colonel S. W. Downey attacked Captain Umbaugh a Rebel guerrilla, killing 
him and 4 of his men, wounding 4 and capturing 12. The fight occurred at 
the house of John T. Wilson. 

May 8. . Major B. F. Skinner led a scouting party through Roane and 
Clay counties from May 8 to May 21, skirmishing with Rebel guerrillas. 

May 10. Federal scouts were decoyed into a house near Franklin, 
Pendleton County, and were set upon by bushwhackers and defeated with 
one killed. Two days later re-enforcements arrived, killed the owner of 
the house, and burned the building. 

May 15. Fight at Wolf Creek, near New River, between Captain E. 
Schache and a squad of Confederates. The latter were defeated with 6 
killed, 2 wounded and 6 prisoners. 

May 16. The Confederates captured Princeton, Mercer County. 

May 16. Skirmish at Wytheville Cross Roads. The Federals were 
attacked and defeated. 

May 17. Federals captured Princeton with 15 prisoners. 

May 23. Battle of Lewisburg, Greenbrier County. General Heth with 
3000 Confederates attacked the forces of Colonel George Crook, 1300. The 
Confederates were stampeded and fled in panic, losing 4 cannon, 200 stands 
of arms, 100 prisoners, 38 killed, 66 wounded. The Union loss was 13 killed 
53 wounded. 

May 26. Skirmish near Franklin, Pendleton County. 

May 29. Fight near Wardensville. Confederates wei'e attacked and 
defeated with 2 killed, by Colonel Downey. 

May 30. A Federal force under Colonel George R. Latham attacked 
guerrillas on Shaver Fork of Cheat River, defeating them, killing 4 and 
wounding several. 

June 8. Major John J. Hoffman attacked and defeated a squad of Con- 
federate Cavalry at Muddy Creek, near Blue Sulphur Springs, killing 3. 

June 24. At Baker's Tavern, Hardy County, Capt. Chas. Farnsworth 
was fired upon by Rebel bushwhackers. He burned several houses in the 
vicinity as a warning to the people not to harbor bushwhackers. 

June 24, Colonel J. D. Hines started upon a three days scout through 
Wyoming County. He defeated and dispersed Confederate guerrillas 
known as Flat Top Copperheads. 


July 25. Lieutenant J. W. Miller, at Summerville, was attacked at 
daybreak by 200 Confederate cavalry and nearly all his men were captured. 

August 2. A scouting party of Federals under Captain I. Stough left 
Meadow Bluff for the Greenbrier river. On Ausrust 4, near Haynes Ferry, 
he was defeated by the Confederates, losing 2 wounded. The Rebels had 
5 killed. 

August 5. Federals under Lieutenant Wintzer invaded Wyoming 
County. In a fight at the county seat he was defeated with a loss of 19 

August 6. Rebels attacked Pack's Ferry, near the mouth of Blue 
Stone, and were driven off by Major Comly. The Confederates, 900 in num- 
ber, were commanded by Colonel G. C. Wharton. 

August 7. Rebel cavalry was defeated in a skirmish at Horse Pen 

August 14. General John D. Imboden, with 300 Confederates, set out 
from Franklin, Pendleton County, on a raid to Rowlesburg to destroy the 
railroad bridge across Cheat River. His advance was discovered and he 
did not venture beyond St. George, in Tucker County, where he robbed the 
postofflce and set out on his retreat. 

August 18. Skirmish near Corrick's Ford, in Tucker County, between 
Federal scouts and Confederates under Captain George Imboden. 

August 22. The Confederate General, A. J. Jenkins, with 550 men, set 
out from Salt Sulphur Springs, in Monroe county, on an extensive raid. 
He passed through Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties into Randolph, 
through Upshur, Lewis, Gilmer, Roane, Jackson, crossed the Ohio, and 
returned through the Kanawha Valley, marching 500 miles, capturing 300 
prisoners and destroying the public records in many counties. 

August 30. The Confederates under General Jenkins captured Buck- 
hannon after the small Federal garrison fled. He secured and destroyed 
large quantities of military stores, including 5,000 stands of arms. He had 
intended to attack Beverly, but feared his force was too small. He crossed 
Rich Mountain to the head of the Buckhannon River, traveling 30 miles 
through an almost pathless forest and fell on Buckhannon by surprise. 

August 31. Weston, in Lewis County, was captured by Confederates 
under General Jenkins. 

September 1. General Jenkins captured Glenville, Gilmer County, the 
Federal garrison retreating after firing once. 

September 2. Colonel J. C. Rathbone, with a Federal force stationed at 
Spencer, Roane County, surrendered to General Jenkins without a fight. 

September 3. At Ripley, in Jackson County, General Jenkins captured 
$5,525 belonging to the United States Government. The Union soldiers 
stationed at the town retreated as the Confederates ajjproached. 

September 11. General W. W. Loring, with a strong force of Confeder 
ates, having invaded the Kanawha Valley, attacked the Federal troops un- 
der General J. A. J. Lightburn at Fayetteville and routed them. This was 
the beginning of an extensive Confederate raid which swept the Union 
troops out of the Kanawha Valley. Military stores to the value of a mil- 
lion dollars fell into the hands of the Rebels, who destroyed what they 
could not carry away. 

September 13. General Lightburn, in his retreat down the Kanawha 
Valley, was overtaken at Charleston by General Loring and was compelled 
to abandon large stores in his flight to the Ohio. 


September 15. General Loring, at Charleston, issued a proclamation to 
the people of the Kanawha Valley and neighboring parts of the State, in- 
forming them that the armies of the Confederacy had set them free from 
the danger and oppression of Federal bayonets, and he called on them to 
rise and maintain their freedom, and support the Government which had 
brought about their emancipation. 

September 20. General Jenkins' forces, having re-crossed the Ohio 
River into the Kanawha Valley, skirmished with Federals at Point Pleas- 

September 27. Skirmish at Buffalo, twenty miles above Point Pleas- 
ant. Colonel John A. Turley attacked and defeated the Confederates, a 
portion of the force under Jenkins. 

September 28. Skirmish at Standing Stone. 

September 30. Fight at Glenville. Fifty Federals attacked and defeated 
65 Confederate cavalry. 

October 1. Fight near Shepherdstown between Federals under Gen- 
eral Pleasanton and Confederates under Colonel W. H. F. Lee. Both sides 
claimed the victory. 

October 2. Federals under Captain W. H. Boyd attacked and 
destroyed General Imboden's camp at Blue's Gap, in Hampshire County. 

October 4. Confederates were captured at Blues' Gap. 

October 4. General Imboden attacked and defeated the Federal Guard 
at Little Capon Bridge, in Morgan County and destroyed the bridge. 

October 4. The Federal guard at Pawpaw, Morgan County, was cap- 
tured by Imboden. 

October 6. Skirmish at Big Birch. 

October 16. General Loring was superseded by General John Echols as 
commander of Confederate forces in West Virginia. 

October 20. Skirmish at Hedgeville. 

October 29. Fight near Petersburg, Grant County, between Federals 
under Lieutenant Quirk and Rebel cattle raiders who were endeavoring to 
drive stock out of the South Branch Valley. The raiders were defeated, 
and lost 170 cattle. 

October 31. Skirmish near Kanawha Falls. 

November 9. St. George, Tucker County, was captured by Imboden 
together with the garrison of 31 Federals under Captain William Hall. 
Imboden had set out, November 9, from South Fork, in Pendleton county, 
to destroy the railroad bridge at Rowlesburg, but learning that troops from 
Beverly were moving in his rear, he retreated, passing up Glade Fork of 
Cheat River, through a dense and pathless wilderness. He reached South 
Fork November 14. He had 310 men, and carried howitzers on mules. 

November 9. Skirmish on South Fork. General Kelley moved from 
Keyser and destroyed Imboden's camp, which he had left in charge of Lieu- 
tenant R. L. Doyle while Imboden was absent on his raid toward Rowles- 

November 9. Captain G. W. Gilmore with a Federal force invaded 
Greenbrier County, capturing a wagon train and 9 men. He returned 
November 11. 

November 24. A force of 75 Federals under Captain Cogswell marched 
from Sharpsburg to Shepherdstown and captured Burke's guerrillas, killing 

November 26, An expedition moved forward under W. H. Powell 


from Summerville to Cold Knob, and with only 20 men defeated the Confed- 
erates at Sinking Creek and took 500 prisoners. 

December 3. Confederates at Moorefield were defeated with loss of 12 by 
Lieut H. A. Myers with 100 men. 

December 11. Lieutenant R. C. Pendergrast with 27 men defeated a 
detachment of Confederates at Darkesville, Berkeley County. 

December 12. In a skirmish near Bunker Hill, Berkeley County, a 
squad of Federals captured 12 of Ashby's cavalry. 

December 22. General Imboden attacked a supply train near Wardens- 
ville, Hardy County, capturing it. He lost six men. The Federals lost 20. 

December 25. Sixty Confederates under Captain Boyle were defeated by 
Lieutenant Vermilyea, with 40 men, at Charlestown. 


January 3. Fight near Moorefield. Federals under Colonel James 
Washburn were attacked by General William E. Jones. A second Union 
force, under Colonel James Mulligan, advanced from Petersburg, attacked 
the Confederates in the rear and defeated them. 

January 3. Petersburg, Grant County, was occupied by Confederates 
after it was evacuated by the Federals, who burned military stores to the 
value of $20,000, which they could not move. 

January 5. A supply train belonging to General Milroy's army was 
attacked and partly destroyed by Confederates under Captain John H. 
McNeill, four miles from Moorefield. 

January 20. General Lee wrote to Imboden, outlining a policy of war 
for West Virginia and urged him to carry it out. Among other things, the 
municipal officers of the Re-organized Government of Virginia, called by 
Lee "the Pierpont government," were to be captured whenever possible; 
and Imboden was instructed to ' ' render the position of sheriff as dangerous 
a position as possible. " 

January 22. Skirmish in Pocahontas County between Federals under 
Major H. C. Flesher and Confederates under Colonel Fontaine. Success 
was equally divided. 

February 5. Scout by 70 Federals under Major John McMahan from 
Camp Piatt through Wyoming County. The men were out three days and 
nearly froze to death. 

February 10. Captain C. T. Ewing left Beverly with a Union force of 
135 for a two days' scout through Pocahontas County. He captured 13 
prisoners, 15 horses and 135 cattle. 

February 12. Skirmish near Smithfield, Jefferson County. • A Union 
scouting party was attacked by Captain R. W. Baylor's cavalry, and lost six 
men, killed, wounded and captured. Federal reinforcements came up and 
retook the prisoners and captured Lieutenant George Baylor and several 

February 12. Major John McMahan set out for a four days' scout from 
Camp Piatt through Boone, Logan and Wyoming Counties. He captured 
four prisoners. 

February 16. Confederate guerrillas captured a wagon train and guard 
near Romney. 

March 2. General John D. Imboden wrote General Lee, outlining his 
plan for invading West Virginia. The formidable raids under Imboden and 
Jones in April and May, 1863, were planned by Imboden, and the first men- 


tion of the plan to Lee seems to have been in the letter to that General on 
March 2. There was a three-fold object in view. First, it was designed to 
destroy as much of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as possible, and Im- 
boden believed he could destroy nearly all of it. Second, he expected to 
enlist "sevei'al thousand" recruits in West Virginia. Third, he wanted to 
establish Confederate authority in as much of the northwest as possible and 
retain it long enough to enable the people to take part in the Virginia State 
election in May. No hint is found in the letter that the Confederates would 
be able to establish themselves permanently west of the Alleghanies. Ex- 
cept the partial destruction of the railroad and the carrying away of several 
thousand horses and cattle, the great raid was a failure so far as benefit to 
the Confederacy was concerned. 

March 7. Skirmish at Green Spring Run, in Hampshire County. 

March 28. Confederates were defeated at Hurricane Bridge, near the 
Kanawha, by Captain J. W. Johnson. 

March 30. Skirmish at Point Pleasant. Captain Carter, with a Union 
force of 60 men, was attacked by Confederates and besieged several hours 
in the Court-House. The Rebels retreated when Federal reinforcements 
appeared upon the opposite bank of the Ohio. 

April 5. Skirmish at Mud River. Captain Dove attacked and defeated 
Confederates under Captain P. M. Carpenter. 

April 6. Lieutenant Speer, with five wagons and 11 men, was captured 
near Burlington, Mineral County, by Confederates under McNeill. 

April 7. Federals under Captain Moore attacked the Confederates at 
Going's Ford, near Mooreneld, defeated them and retook the wagons lost 
by Lieutenant Speer the day before. 

April 11. Colonel G. R. Latham moved from Beverly toward Franklin, 
Pendleton County, and occupied the town without opposition. He returned 
to Beverly after an absence of seven days. 

April 18. Fight in Harrison County. Colonel N. Wilkinson with a 
squad of Union troops captured Major Thomas D. Armstrong at Johnstown 
and scattered his forces on the head of Hacker's Creek. 

April 20. Imboden set forward with 3000 men on his great raid. Gen- 
eral W. E. Jones was sent through Hardy County to Oakland, Maryland, 
thence to move westward, destroying the railroad, while Imboden advanced 
through Randolph County toward Grafton, expecting to form a junction 
near that place with Jones, whence they would move west. The plan was 
generally carried out. 

April 21. General Jones with 1300 men set forward on the great raid. 

April 24. Beverly was captured by Imboden. Colonel Latham with 
900 Federals retreated to Philippi, in Barbour County, over roads almost 
impassable for mud which in places was up to the saddle skirts. Imboden 
was unable to follow with artillery, but pursued with cavalry. General 
Roberts in command of the Union forces in the northwestern part of the 
State, called in all his outlying garrisons and retreated to Clarksburg. 
Colonel James Mulligan marched from Grafton with a Federal force and 
fought Imboden's troops in Barbour County, but hearing that General Jones 
was threatening Grafton, Mulligan fell back to defend that point. Im- 
boden moved slowly toward Buckhannon over roads so bad that in 
one day he could advance only two miles. 

April 25. Fight at Greenland Gap in Grant County. Captain Martin 
Wallace with less than 100 Federals held the pass five hours against the 


Rebel army, and surrendered only when driven mto a church and the build- 
ing set on fire. 

April 26. General Jones attacked and captured Cranberry Summit, 
now Terra Alta, in Preston County. 

April 26. The Confederates attacked Rowlesburg for the purpose of 
destroying the railroad bridge and trestles. The town was defended by 
Major J. H. Showalter and 252 Union troops. General Jones did not 
lead the attack in person but remained at the bridge five miles above 
Rowlesburg where the Northwestern Pike crosses, for the purpose of burn- 
ing the structure as soon as the town was taken. But his attacking parties 
were repulsed, and he abandoned the attack and marched to Evansville, in 
Preston County, not knowing that the Federal garrison of Rowlesburg was 
in full retreat toward Pennsylvania. Thus the town escaped capture, 
although defenseless; and the great trestles, for the destruction of which 
General Lee had planned so carefully, and the tunnel at Tunnelton, then 
the largest in the world, were saved; and the blow which would have para- 
lyzed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for months, was not struck. 

April 27, The suspension bridge across Cheat River at Albrightsville, 
three miles from Kingwood, was cut down by the Confederates. The 
cables were severed with an axe. 

April 27. Bridges and trestles on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
near Independence, Preston County, were burned by General Jones. 

April 27. Morgantown, Monongalia County, was surrendered to Gen- 
eral Jones by the citizens. Three citizens were shot near town by the 

April 28. The suspension bridge across the Monongahela river at Mor- 
gantown was set on fire by the Confederates, but they permitted the 
citizens to extinguish the fire before much damage was done. 

April 29. The Confederates under Imboden advanced to and occupied 
Buckhannon, in Upshur County. 

April 29. General Jones attacked and captured Fairmont, Marion 
County, after a sharp skirmish. He captured 260 prisoners. 

April 29. The large iron railroad bridge across the Monongahela above 
Fairmont, which cost over $400,000, was blown down with powder. The 
first blast of three kegs of powder placed under a pier, failed to move it, 
and the Confederates proceeded to burn the wood-work, considering it 
impossible to destroy the iron superstructure. But after several hours of 
undermining, a charge of powder threw the bridge into the river. 

April 29. Governor Pierpont's library at his home in Fairmont was 
burned by the Rebels. 

April 29. Colonel Mulligan, who had been in Barbour County fighting 
Imboden, came up and attacked the Confederates under Jones, while they 
were destroying the bridge above Fairmont, and sharp fight ensued. Mul- 
ligan saw that he could not save the bridge, and fell back to Grafton. 

April 30. Imboden lost 200 soldiers at Buckhannon by desertion, be- 
cause he would not permit them to steal horses for their private benefit. 

April 30. Skirmish at Bridgeport, Harrison County. General Jones 
captured 47 prisoners, burned a bridge and trestle, and run a freight train 
into the creek. 

May 2. General Jones occupied Philippi, and from there sent across 
the Alleghanies, by way of Beverly, several thousand cattle and horses 


taken from the people. On the same day he formed a junction with Im- 
boden's troops. 

May 2. Lieutenant G. M. Edgar, with a detachment of Confederates, 
was attacked by Federals at Lewisburg, Greenbrier County. He defeated 

May 4. General Jones invested Clarksburg, where several thousand 
Union troops had collected from the counties south of that place, but he did 
not make an attack. 

May 5. Imboden skirmished with a small Union force at Janelew, 
Lewis County. 

May 6. Imboden moved from Weston toward the southwest, Jones 
having moved west from Clarksburg toward Parkersburg. Up to that 
time Imboden had collected 3,100 cattle from the country through which he 
had raided. 

May 6. Jones moved against West Union, in Doddridge county, but 
upon approaching the town he saw that the Union troops collected there 
were prepared to make a stand and fight, and he declined battle and moved 
on west. 

May 7. Jones captured Cairo, Ritchie County, and the small garrison 
at that place. 

May 8. Colonel James A. Galliher was fired upon by bushwhackers at 
Capon Bridge, Hampshire County. 

May 9. Jones burned 100,000 barrels of oil at the oil wells in Wirt 
County. The tanks broke and the crude petroleum flowed into the Little 
Kanawha River, took fire and the spectacle of a river in flames for miles 
was never before seen. The destruction of everything combustible along 
the river was complete. The Confederates advanced no nearer the Ohio. 
Both Imboden and Jones turned southward and eastward and recrossed the 
Alleghanies late in May. Instead of procuring "several thousand" 
recruits, as Imboden had expected, more soldiers were lost by desertion 
than were gained by recruits. General Lee expressed disappointment with 
the result, and Imboden excused the failure to increase his army by saying 
that the inhabitants of West Virginia were a "conquered people," in fear 
of Northern bayonets, and not daring to espouse the Confederate cause. 

May 12. Imboden defeated a small Union force near Summer ville. 

May 19. Payetteville, in Payette County, was attacked by General 
McCausland, but after bombarding two days the Federals forced him to 

May 23. General B. S. Roberts was superseded by General William W. 
Averell in command of the Federal forces in the northern part of West Vir- 
ginia. General Roberts was relieved because he offered so little opposition 
to the advance of Jones and Imboden. When Imboden crossed the moun- 
tains and took Beverly, the war department at Washington urged General 
Roberts to collect his forces and fight. To this General Roberts replied 
ihat the roads were so bad he could uot move his troops. The answer from 
Washington was sarcastic, asking why the roads were too bad for him and 
yet good enough to enable the Rebels to move with considerable rapidity. 
From all accounts, the roads were worse than ever before or since. Imbo- 
den left Weston with twelve horses dragging each cannon, and then found 
it necessary to throw away ammunition and the extra wheels for the guns, 
in order to get along at all, and then sometimes being able to make no more 
than five miles a day. When General Averell took command he changed 


3000 infantry to cavalry, and trained it to the highest proficiency, and with 
it did some of the finest fighting of the war. The Confederates feared him 
and moved in his vicinity with the greatest caution. His headquarters at 
first were at Weston. 

June 7. General Lee ordered Imboden into Hampshire County to 
destroy railroad bridges, preliminary to the Gettysburg campaign. 

June 10. General Averell urged that the mass of mountains forming 
the great rampart overlooking the Valley of Virginia should be fortified 
and held. He referred to the Alleghany, Cheat Mountain, Rich Mountain 
and others about the sources of the " Greenbrier, Cheat, Tygart and Elk 
Rivers. In his letter to General Schenck he said: "It has always ap- 
peared to me that the importance of holding this mass of mountains, so full 
of fastnesses, and making a vast re-entrant angle in front of the enemy, has 
never been appreciated. " 

June 14. A portion of General Milroy's forces were captured by Con- 
federates at Bunker Hill, near Martinsburg. 

June 14. Martinsburg was captured by Confederates under General A. 
G. Jenkins. General Daniel Tyler, who had occupied the town, retreated. 

June 16. Romney was captured by Imboden. 

June 17. South Branch Bridge, at the mouth of South Branch, was 
burned by Imboden, who advanced through Hampshire County, forming 
the extreme left of General Lee's army in the Gettysburg campaign. 

June 24. A Union scouting party from Grafton to St. George had a 
skirmish with guerrillas, killing five and capturing several horses. 

June 26. Skirmish at Long Creek, in the Kanawha Valley. Captain 
C. E. Hambleton, with 75 men, was attacked and defeated by Confederates 
under Major R. A. Bailey, with a loss of 29 prisoners and 45 horses. 

June 29. General William L. Jackson, with 1,200 Confederates, moved 
against Beverly to attack the forces under Averell. 

July 2. The Confederates under Jackson attacked the troops at Beverly 
and were repulsed. 

July 4. The Confederates under W. L. Jackson, who had fallen back 
from Beverly, were attacked and routed at Huttonsville by General 

July 13. An expedition set out f rom Fayetteville, crossed into Virginia 
and cut the railroad at Wythville, being absent twelve days, skirmishing 
with small parties of Confederates. 

July 14. Skirmish on the road between Harper's Perry and Charles- 
town, resulting in the defeat of the Confederates. 

July 14. Confederates defeated in a skirmish at Palling Waters. 

July 15. Colonel C. H. Smith defeated Confederates near Charlestown. 

July 17. Skirmish at North Mountain, Berkeley County. The Rebels 
were defeated, with 17 captured. 

July 19. Fight near Martinsburg, in which General Bradley T. John- 
son was defeated by General Averell, who had just arrived from Beverly 
and was opposing the western wing of General Lee's army retreating from 
Gettysburg. Johnson was destroying the railroad when Averell drove him 
away, capturing 20 prisoners. 

August 5. General Averell moved from Winchester through Hardy 
County on his expedition to Greenbrier County. 

August 5. Skirmish at Cold Spring Gap, in Hardy County, by a portion 


of Averell's force under Captain Von Koenig, and a detachment of Im- 
boden's command. The Confederates lost 11 men captured. 

August 6. Averell sent a squad of cavalry to Harper's Mill, from Lost 
River, Hardy County. Several prisoners were taken, but the Federals 
subsequently fell into an ambuscade and lost the prisoners and had 13 men 
captured and 4 wounded. The Confederates had 3 killed and 5 wounded. 

August 19. The Federals destroyed the saltpeter works near Franklin. 

August 21. "Wilkinson's Brigade skirmished with Confederate guer- 
rillas near Glenville, killing 4. 

August 22. Confederates were defeated by Averell near Huntersville. 
. August 25 Averell crossed from Huntersville to Jackson River and 
destroyed saltpeter works. 

August 26. Battle of Rocky Gap, in Greenbrier County. Averell with 
1300 men fought General Sam Jones with over 2000. The battle continued 
two days, when Averell's ammunition ran short and he retreated to Bev- 
erly. His loss in the battle was 218, the Confederate loss 162. This was 
one of the most hotly contested battles in West Virginia. Captain Von 
Koenig was killed. It has been said it was done by one of his men whom 
he had struck while on the march. It is also said that this soldier did not 
know Averell by sight, and supposed it was Averell who had struck him, 
and when he shot Von Koenig, supposed he was shooting Averell. 

August 26. Lieutenant Dils with 40 Federals killed 3 bushwhackers 
ten miles from Sutton, Braxton County. 

August 26. Union troops were fired upon by bushwackers on Elk 
River, five miles below Sutton. 

August 27. Forty guerrillas under Cunningham attacked a Federal 
detachment under Captain C. J. Harrison, on Elk River, near Sutton. The 
guerrillas were defeated. 

August 27. In a skirmish with Confederate guerrillas on Cedar Creek, 
fifteen miles from Glenville, Gilmer County, Captain Simpson defeated 
them, killing 4. 

September 4. Skirmish at Petersburg Gap, in Grant County. A Union 
detachment marching from Petersburg to Moorefield was defeated. 

September 11. Confederates under McNeill made a daybreak attack 
upon Major W. E. Stephens near Moorefield and defeated him, killing or 
wounding 30 men and taking 138 prisoners. The Federals were endeavor- 
ing to surprise McNeill, but were surprised by him. The Rebels had 3 

September 15. One hundred Federals under Captain Jones attacked 70 
Confederates at Smithficld, captui'ing 1 1. Captain Jones was wounded. 

September 20. A Federal picket on the Senaca Road, where it crosses 
Shaver Mountain, was attacked and defeated by the Confederates who 
lost 4. 

September 24. A scouting party of 70 sent from Beverly by Averell lost 
2 men in a skirmish at Greenbrier Bridge. 

September 25. Sixty Confederates under Major D. B. Lang of Imboden's 
command, surprised and captured 30 of Averell's men at the crossing of 
Cheat River by the Senaca trail. 

October 2. A petition was signed and forwarded to the Confederate 
Government, asking for the removal of General Sam Jones from the com- 
mand in Western Virginia, and the assignment of some other General in his 
place. Among the signers were members of the Virginia Legislature from 


the West Virginia counties of Mercer, Roane, Putnam, Logan, Boone and 
Wyoming. There were many other signatures. Those counties were rep- 
resented in the Virginia and the West Virginia Legislature at the same 
time. The petition charged incompetency against General Jones. He was 
soon after relieved of command in West Virginia. 

October 7. Confederates under Harry Gilmor defeated Captain G. D. 
Summers and 40 men at Summit Point, Jefferson County. Captain Sum- 
mers was killed. 

October 13. Fight at Bulltown, Braxton County. Confederates under 
W. L. Jackson were defeated with a loss in killed and wounded of 50 by 
Captain W. H. Mattingly, who was severely wounded in the action. 

October 14. When Jackson retreated from Bulltown he was pursued by 
Averell's troops, who came up with him and defeated him at Sait Lick 
Bridge. ■ 

October 15. Twenty-seven of Harry Gilmor's men who bad been sent 
to burn the Back Creek Bridge, were captured in a skirmish near Hedge- 
ville b3^ Federals under Colonel Pierce. 

October 18. Attack on Charlestown by 1200 men under Imboden. The 
Confederates captured 434 of Colonel Simpson's command and then retreat- 
ed, hotly pursued. Some of Imboden's infantry marched 48 miles on the 
day of the fight, thus beating the record made by Napoleon's soldiers, who 
marched 36 miles and fought a battle in one day. 

November 1. General Averell moved from Beverly into Pocahontas 
County with about 2,500 men, and General Duffle moved from Charleston 
to co-operate with him. They expected to form a junction in Greenbrier 

November 3. Skirmish at Cackleytown, Pocahontas County. Confed- 
erates were defeated by Averell. 

November 5. Confederates were defeated by Averell at Hillsboro, Poca- 
hontas County, and at Mill Point. 

November 6. Battle of Droop Mountain, Pocahontas County. Averell 
attacked General Echols, who had 1700 men strongly posted on the summit 
of a mountain. It was a stubborn contest and the Federals gained the day 
by a flank movement, Echols retreating with a loss of 275 men and three 
cannon. Averell's loss was 119. The Confederates made their escape 
through Lewisburg a few hours before General Duffle's army arrived at 
that place to cut them off, while Averell was pursuing. By blockading the 
road, Echols secured his retreat into Monroe County. Averell attempted 
pursuit, but received no support from Duffle's troops, who were worn out, 
and the pursuit was abandoned. 

November 6. Confederates at Little Sewell Mountain were defeated by 
General Duffle. 

November 7. Lewisburg was occupied by General Duffle. 

November 7. In a night skirmish at Muddy Creek the Confederates 
were defeated by General Duffle's troops. 

November 8. A squad of Confederates driving cattle was attacked on 
Second Creek, on the road to Union, in Monroe County, and lost 110 cattle. 

November 12. The Saltpeter Works in Pendleton County, used by the 
Confederates in making gunpowder, were destroyed by Averell's troops. 

November 15. General Imboden sent Captain Hill into Barbour County 
to waylay wagon trains on the road from Philippi to Beverly. 

November 16. At Burlington, in Mineral County, 100 Confederates un- 



der McNeill captured a train of 80 wagons and 200 horses, killing two men, 
wounding 10 and taking 20 prisoners. The wagon train was under an 
escort of 90 men, commanded by Captain Jeffers. 

December 8. Averell moved from Keyser with Federal troops upon his 
great Salem raid, which he concluded on Christmas Day. He had 2500 cavalry, 
and artillery. It was a momentous issue. General Burnsides was besieged 
at Knoxville, Tennessee, by General Longstreet, and it was feared that no 
reinforcements could reach Burnsides in time to save him. The only hope 
lay in cutting Longstreet's line of supplies and compelling him to raise the 
siege. This was the railroad from Richmond to Knoxville, passing through 
Salem, sixty miles west Lynchburg. Averell was ordered to cut this road 
at Salem, no matter what the result to his army. He must do it, even if he 
lost every man he had in the execution of his work. An army of 2500 could 
be sacrificed to save Burnsides' larger army. With his veteran cavalry, 
mostly West Virginians, and equal to the best the world ever saw, Averell 
left Keyser December 8, 1863, and moved through Petersburg, Monterey, 
Back Creek, Gatewood's, Callighan's, Sweet Sulphur Springs Valley, New- 
castle to Salem, almost as straight as an arrow, for much of the way fol- 
lowing a route nearly parallel with the summit of the Alleghanies. Pour 
Confederate armies, any of them larger than his, lay between him and 
Salem, and to the number of 12,000 they marched, counter-marched, and 
maneuvered to effect his capture. Still, eight days he rode toward Salem 
in terrible storms, fording and swimming overflowing mountain streams, 
crossing mountains and pursuing ravines by night and by day, and on 
December 16 he struck Salem, and the blow was felt throughout the South- 
ern Confederacy. The last halt on the downward march was made at Sweet 
Sulphur Valley. The horses were fed and the soldiers made coffee and 
rested two hours. Then at 1 o'clock on the afternoon of December 15, they 
mounted for the dash into Salem. 

Prom the top of Sweet Springs Mountain a splendid view was opened 
before them. Averell, in his official report, speaks of it thus: "Seventy 
miles to the eastward the Peaks of Otter reared their summits above the 
Blue Ridge, and all the space between was filled with a billowing ocean of 
hills and mountains, while behind us the great Alleghanies, coming from 
north with the grandeur of innumerable tints, swept past and faded in the 
southern horizon." Newcastle was passed dui'ing the night. Averell's ad- 
vance guard were mounted on fleet horses and carried repeating rifles. 
They allowed no one to go ahead of them. They captured a squad of Con- 
federates now and then, and learned from these that Averell's advance was 
as yet unsuspected in that quarter. It was, however, known at that time at 
Lynchburg and Richmond, but it was not known at what point he was 
striking. Valuable military stores were at Salem, and at that very time a 
train-load of soldiers was hurrying up from Lynchburg to guard the place. 
When within four miles of Salem a froop of Confederates were captured. 
They had come out to see if they could learn anything of Averell, and from 
them it was ascertained that the soldiers from Lynchburg were hourly ex- 
pected at Salem. This was 9 o'clock on the morning of December 16. Aver- 
ell's men had ridden twenty hours without rest. Averell saw that no time 
was to be lost. From this point it became a race between Averell's cavalry 
and the Lynchburg train loaded with Confederates, each trying to reach 
Salem first. The whistling of the engine in the distance was heard, and 
Averell saw that he would be too late if he advanced with his whole force. 


So he set forward with three hundred and fifty horsemen and two rifled 
cannon, and went into Salem on a dead run, people on the road and streets 
parting right and left to let the squadron pass. The train loaded with Con- 
federates was approaching the depot. Averell wheeled a cannon into posi- 
tion and fired three times in rapid succession, the first ball missing, but the 
next passing through the train almost from end to end, and the third fol- 
lowing close after. The locomotive was uninjured, and it reversed and 
backed up the road in a hurry, disappearing in the direction whence it had 
come. Averell cut the telegraph wires. The work of destroying the rail- 
road was begun. When the remainder of the force came up, detachments 
were sent four miles east and twelve miles west to destroy the railroad and 
bridges. The destruction was complete. They burned 100,000 bushels of 
shelled corn; 10,000 bushels of wheat; 2,000 barrels of flour; 50,000 bushels 
of oats; 1,000 sacks of salt; 100 wagons; large quantities of clothing, leather, 
cotton, harness, shoes; and the bridges, bridge-timber, trestles, ties, and 
everything that would burn, even twisting the rails, up and down the rail- 
road sixteen miles. 

At 4 p. m. , December 16, Averell set out upon his return. Confeder- 
ate troops were hurrying from all sides to cut him off. Generals Pitzhugh 
Lee, Jubal A. Early, John McCausland, John Echols and W. H. Jackson 
each had an army, and they occupied every road, as they supposed, by 
which Averell could escape. Rain fell in torrents. Streams overflowed 
their banks and deluged the country. The cavalry swam, and the cannon 
and caissons were hauled across by ropes where horses could not ford. The 
Federals fought their way to James River, crossed it on bridges which they 
burned in the face of the Confederates, and crossed the Alleghanies into 
Pocahontas County by a road almost unknown. More than 100 men were 
lost by capture and drowning at James River. The rains had changed to 
snow, and the cold was so intense that cattle froze to death in the fields. 
Such a storm had seldom or never been seen in the Alleghanies. The 
soldiers' feet froze till they could not wear boots. They wrapped their feet 
in sacks, Averell among the rest. For sixty miles they followed a road 
which was one unbroken sheet of ice. Horses fell and crippled themselves 
or broke the riders' legs. The artillery horses could not pull the cannon, 
and the soldiers did that work, 100 men dragging each gun up the moun- 
tains. Going down the mountains a tree was dragged behind each cannon 
to hold it in the road. The Confederates were hard in pursuit, and there 
was fighting nearly all the way through Pocahontas County, and at Edray 
a severe skirmish was fought. Beverly was reached December 24, and 
thence the army marched to Webster, in Taylor County, and was carried 
by train to Martinsburg. Averell lost 119 men on the expedition, one am- 
bulance and a few wagons, but no artillery. 

December 11. Confederates under Captain William Thurmond attacked 
General Scammon at Big Sewell and were repulsed. General Scammon 
was marching to attract the attention of the Confederate General Echols, 
and thereby assist Averell on his Salem raid. 

December 11. Confederates under General W. L. Jackson were defeated 
at Marlin Bottom, Pocahontas County, by Colonel Augustus Moor, who 
marched into that country to assist Averell, by attracting the attention of 
the Rebels. 

December 12. Lewisburg was taken by General Scammon, General 
Echols retreating. 


December 12. Troops sent by General Scammon drove Confederates 
across the Greenbrier River. 

December 13. Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge. Confederates attacked a 
small force of Federals under Captain Young. Both sides retreated. 

December 14. Skirmish on the Blue Sulphur Road, near Meadow Bluff. 
Lieutenant H. G. Otis, with 29 men was attacked by Rebel guerrillas under 
William Thurmond. The guerrillas fled, having killed 2 and wounded 4 
Union soldiers, while their own loss was 2. 


January 2. Confederates under General Fitzhugh Lee invaded the 
South Branch Valley. This raid, following so soon after Averell's Salem 
raid, was meant as a retaliation for the destruction at Salem. The weather 
was so cold and the Shenandoah Mountains so icy that Lee could not cross 
with artillery, and he abandoned his guns and moved forward with his 

January 3. Petersburg, Grant County, besieged by Fitzhugh Lee. 

January 3. An empty train of 40 wagons, returning from Petersburg 
to Keyser, was captured by Confederates. 

January 6. Romney was occupied by Fitzhugh Lee. 

January 6. Springfield, in Hampshire County, was captured by Con- 
federates under McNeill and Gilmor. 

January 30. General Rosser, with a strong Confederate force, captured 
a train of 93 wagons, 300 mules and 20 prisoners, at Medley, Mineral 
County. Among the prisoners taken was Judge Nathan Goff, of West Vir- 
ginia, whose horse fell on him and held him. He was then twenty years 
old. The wagon train was in charge of Colonel Joseph Snyder. 

January 31. Petersburg, Grant County, was evacuated by Federals 
under Colonel Thoburn upon the advance of an army under General Early. 
Colonel Thoburn retreated to Keyser by way of Greenland Gap. 

February 1. General Early advanced and attacked the fort near Peters- 
burg, not knowing that Colonel Thoburn had retreated and that the fort 
was empty. 

February 2. General Rosser destroyed the railroad bridges across the 
North Branch and Patterson Creek, in Mineral county. 

February 3. Forty Rebels under Major J. H. Nounnan attacked and 
captured the steamer Levi on the Kanawha, at Red House. General Scam- 
mon was on board and was taken prisoner. 

February 11. Confederates under Gilmor threw a Baltimore and Ohio 
passenger train from the track near Kearneysville, and robbed the pas- 

February 20. Twenty Federals under Lieutenant Henry A. Wolf were 
attacked near Hurricane Bridge. Lieutenant Wolf was killed. 

February 25. General John C. Breckenvidge was assigned to the com- 
mand of the Confederate forces in West Virginia, relieving General Sam 
Jones. General Breckenridge assumed command March 5. 

March 3. Colonel A. I. Root marched from Petersburg and destroyed 
the Saltpeter Works operated by Confederates in Pendleton County. 

March 3. Skirmish in Grant County. Lieutenant Denney with 27 Fed- 
erals was attacked and defeated near Petersburg with a loss of 7 men and 
13 horses. 


March 10. Major Sullivan was killed by Mosby's guerrillas in a skirm- 
ish at Kabletown. 

March 19. Eight men, of Imboden's command, who had been in Bar- 
bour County attempting to waylay a wagon train, crossed into Tucker 
County and robbed David Wheeler's Store, three miles from St. George. 

March 20. Skirmish at the Sinks of Gandy in Randolph County. The 
Rebels who had robbed Wheeler's store were pursued by Lieutenant Val- 
entine J. Gallion and Captain Nathaniel J. Lambert and defeated, with 3 
killed, 2 captured, and the stolen property was recovered. 

April 19. Confederates were attacked and defeated at Marlin Bottom, 
Pocahontas County. 

May 2. An expedition moved from the Kanawha Valley under Generals 
Crook and Averell against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. This is 
known as the Dublin Raid, so called from the village of that name in 
Pulaski County. The cavalry was under the command of General Averell, 
while General George Crook was in command of all the forces. On May 9 
occurred a desperate battle on Cloyd Mountain, near the boundary between 
Giles and Pulaski Counties, Virginia. General Crook commanded the 
Union forces, and the Confederates were under General Albert G. Jenkins. 
For a long time the issue of the battle was doubtful; but at length General 
Jenkins fell, and his army gave way. He was mortally wounded, and died 
soon after. His arm had been amputated at the shoulder by a Federal 
surgeon. In the meantime General Averell, with a force of cavalry, 2000 
strong, advanced by wretched roads and miserable paths through Wyoming 
County, West Virginia, into Virginia, hoping to strike at Saltville or 
Wytheville before the Confederates could concentrate for defense. When 
the troops entered Tazewell County they had numerous skirmishes with 
small parties of Confederates. When Tazewell Court House was reached it 
was learned that between 4000 and 5000 Confederates, commanded by 
Generals W. E. Jones and John H. Morgan, had concentrated at Saltville, 
having learned of Averell's advance. The defences north of that town 
were so strongly fortified that the Union troops could not attack with hope 
of success. Averell turned, and made a rapid march toward Wytheville, to 
prevent the Confederates from marching to attack General Crook. Arriv- 
ing near Wytheville on May 10, he met Jones and Morgan, with 5000 men, 
marching to attack General Crook. Averell made an attack on them, or 
they on him, as both sides appeared to begin the battle about the same 
time. Although out-numbered and out-flanked, the Union forces held their 
ground four hours, at which time the vigor of the Confederate fighting 
began to slack. After dark the Confederates withdrew. * The Union loss 
was 114 in killed and wounded. Averell made a dash for Dublin, and the 
Confederates followed as fast as possible. The bridge across New River, 
and other bridges, were destroyed, and the railroad was torn up. Soon 
after crossing New River on the morning of May 12, the Confederates 
arrived on the opposite bank, but they could not cross the stream. They 
had been unable to prevent the destruction of the railroad property, 
although their forces out-numbered Averell's. The Union cavalry rejoined 
General Crook, and the army returned to the Kanawha Valley by way of 
Monroe County. 

May 3. Bulltown, Braxton County, was captured and the barracks 
burned by Confederates under Captains Spriggs and Chewings. 

May 4. Captain McNeill with 61 Confederate cavalry captured Pied- 


mont, in Mineral County, and burned two trains, machine shops, and cap- 
tured 104 prisoners. 

May 6. Lieutenant Blazer's scouts attacked and defeated a troop of 
Confederates near Princeton, Mercer County. 

May 8. Fifty Confederates attacked a Federal post at Halltown, 
Jefferson County, and were defeated. 

May 9. Skirmish on the summit of Cheat Mountain between a scouting 
party from Beverly and 100 Rebels. 

May 10. The Ringgold Cavalry was attacked and defeated at Lost 
River Gap, Hardy County, by Imboden. The Federals were hunting for 
McNeill's men, and Imboden had hurriedly crossed from the Valley of Vir- 
ginia to assist McNeill to escape. 

May 11. Romney was occupied by General Imboden. 

May 15. A scouting party moved from Beverly under Colonel Harris 
against Confederate guerrillas in Pocahontas, Webster and Braxton Coun- 
ties, capturing 36 prisoners, 85 horses, 40 cattle, and returning to Beverly 
May 30. 

May 19. General David Hunter was appointed to the command of Fed- 
eral forces in West Virginia. He assumed command May 21. 

May 24. In a skirmish near Charlestown the Confederates under 
Mosby were defeated. 

June 6. Skirmish at Panther Gap. Rebels were defeated by Colonel 
D. Frost. 

June 6. Fight near Moorefield. Eighty Federals under Captain 
Hart were attacked and lost four killed and six wounded, but defeated the 

June 10. Colonel Thompson was defeated near Kabletown by Major 

June 19. Captain Boggs, with 30 West Virginia State troops from Pen- 
dleton County, known as Swamp Dragons, was attacked near Petersburg 
by Lieutenant Dolen, with a portion of McNeill's company. The Confed- 
erates were at first successful, but finally were defeated, and Lieutenant 
Dolen was killed. 

June 26. Captain McNeill, with 60 Confederates, attacked Captain 
Law and 100 men at Springfield, Hampshire County. The Federals were 
defeated, losing 60 prisoners and 100 horses. 

June 28. A detachment of Federals was defeated at Sweet Sulphur 
Springs by Thurmond's guerrillas. 

July 3. Skirmish at Leetown. Confederates under General Ransom 
attacked and defeated Colonel Mulligan after a severe fight. A large Con- 
federate army under General Early was invading West Virginia and Mary- 
land, penetrating as far as Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

July 3. Confederates under Gilmor attacked Union troops at Darkes- 
ville, Berkeley County, and were defeated. 

July 3. General Early captured Martinsburg. 

July 3. Skirmish at North River Mills, Hampshire County. 

July 4. General Imboden attacked an armored car and a blockhouse at 
the South Branch Bridge, in Hampshire County. He blew the car up with 
a shell, and attempted to destroy the bridge, but the blockhouse could not 
be taken, and he retreated. 

July 4 Rebels under Captain McNeill burned the railroad bridge across 
Patterson Creek, Mineral County. 


July 4. An attack on the North Branch Bridge, in Mineral County, was 
repulsed' by the Federals. 

July 4. Harper's Ferry was invested by Confederates. They besiged 
the place four days, but the heavy guns on the heights drove them back 
and shelled theru to the distance of four miles. General Franz Sigel was 
in command at Harper's Ferry. 

July 6. General Imboden attacked Sir John's Run, Morgan County, 
and burned the railroad station-house, but was driven off by iron-clad cars. 

July 6. Big Capon Bridge, Morgan County, was attacked by Imboden. 
He was driven off by iron-clad cars. 

July 14. Romney was occupied by McNeill. 

July 23. Romney was taken by McNeill and Captain Harness. 

July 25. Federals under General George Crook were defeated at 
Bunker Hill, Berkeley County. 

July 25. Fight at Martinsburg. The Confederates in strong force 
fought General Duffie all day. 

July 30. Confederates under General W. L. Jackson were defeated near 

August 2. The Confederates under General Bradley T. Johnson cap- 
tured Green Spring, Hampshir% County, Colonel Stough being in command 
of the Federals. The Rebels had advanced toward Cumberland, and made 
an attack on the Federal defenders, but did not push the attack. These 
Confederates were returning from their plundering raid in Pennsylvania. 

August 2. Confederates under McNeill destroyed three railroad cul- 
verts between Keyser and Cumberland. 

August 2. The suspension bridge across the South Branch of the Poto- 
mac near Springfield was cut down by order of General Early. 

August 4. Confederates under Generals Bradley T. Johnson and John 
McCausland attacked Keyser and were repulsed. 

August 7. General Averell overtook and routed the forces of McCaus- 
land and Johnson, near Moorefield. These Confederates had burned Cham- 
bersburg, Pennsylvania, because the people would not pay $ 400, 000 ransom. 
Averell entered Chambersburg within two hours after the Confederates left, 
and he pursued them through Maryland into West Virginia, and came upon 
them at daybreak near Moorefield and surprised them, captured all their 
artillery, 420 prisoners, 400 horses, retook the plunder carried from Penn- 
sylvania, and drove the disorganized forces ten miles into the mountains. 
The Rebels believed that no quarters would be given them because they 
had burned Chambersburg. 

August 21. Skirmish at Summit Point between a detachment of Con- 
federates and the New York Dragoons. 

August 21. General Sheridan was defeated at Welch's Spring with a 
loss of 275. 

August 22. Confederates at Charlestown were defeated by Colonel 
Charles R. Lowell. 

Augu,st 22. General Sheridan's troops defeated the Confederates at 

August 29. The Confederates were defeated four miles from Charles- 
town. This fighting, and that which followed and preceded it in the same 
vicinity, was between the armies of General Sheridan and General Early. 

September 1. Martinsburg was captured by General Early's troops. 
Averell retreating. 


September 2. Confederate cavalry under Vaughn was defeated by Averell 
at Bunker Hill. 

September 3. Federals under General Crook defeated General Kershaw 
near Berryville, killing and wounding 200. 

September 3. Averell defeated McCausland at Bunker Hill. 

September 4. Cavalry fight near Berryville between Mosby's and 
Blazer's men, in which Mosby lost 19 men, killed and captured. 

September 14. Skirmish near Centerville, Upshur County, between Fed- 
erals under Captain H. H. Hagans and 30 horse thieves. 

September 17. Confederates under Colonel V. A. Witcher, to the num- 
ber of 523, among them Captain Philip J. and Captain William D. Thur- 
mond's guerrillas, moved from Tazewell County, Virginia, upon a raid into 
West Virginia, returning September 28 with 400 horses, 200 cattle, and hav- 
ing lost only one man. 

September 18. General Early's troops recaptured Martinsburg. 

September 23. Confederates under Major James H. Nounnan moved 
from Tazewell County upon a raid into the Kanawha Valley. They returned 
to Tazewell October 1. 

September 26. Colonel Witcher capture^ Weston and robbed the Ex- 
change Bank of $5,287.85; also captured a number of Home Guards. 

September 26. Captain William H. Payne, of Witcher's command, occu- 
pied Janelew, Lewis County. 

September 27. Witcher defeated Federal cavalry at Buckhannon and 
captured the town. 

September 28. The Rebels having moved up the river from Buckhan- 
non, and Federals, under Major T. F. Lang, having occupied the town, 
Colonel Witcher made a dash and recaptured the place and took Major Lang 
and 100 men prisoner, and destroyed a large quantity of military stores. 

September 30. Skirmish at the mouth of Coal River. Rebels under 
Major Nounnan were defeated. 

October 11. Skirmish two miles south of Petersburg between 198 
Home Guards under Captain Boggs and Rebels under Harness. 

October 26. Colonel Witcher attacked the town of Winfield and was 
defeated. Captain P. J. Thurmond was mortally wounded, taken prisoner, 
and soon after died. 

October 29. Major Hall, with 350 Rebels, attacked Beverly and was 
repulsed with a loss of 140, Hall being mortally wounded and taken pris- 
oner. The Federals, 200 in number, were in command of Colonel Youart. 
He lost 46. The Confederate attacking force was made up of men from 21 

November 1. Green Spring, Hampshire County, was captured by Con- 
federates under Captain McNeill; about 30 Federals were taken prisoner. 

November 5. Colonel V. A. Witcher captured and burned the steamers 
Barnum and Fawn at Buffalo Shoals, Big Sandy River. 

November 7. Colonel George R. Latham, with 225 Federals, defeated 
McNeill at Moorefield, taking 8 prisoners. 

November 27. Colonel R. E. Fleming with a small force attacked 2,000 
Confederates under Rosser at Moorefield, and was defeated, with a loss of 
20 men and one cannon. 

November 28. Major Potts, with 155 men; was defeated by Confederates 
of Rosser's command at Moorefield. 

November 28. General Rosser surprised Keyser, capturing or dispers- 


ing the Federal garrison of 800, and taking several cannon, burning gov- 
ernment and railroad property, and carrying away hundreds of horses. 

November 28. Confederates under Major McDonald were defeated at 
Piedmont by 27 men under Captain Fisher. 


January 11. General Rosser captured Beverly. The Federals were in 
command of Colonel R. Youart. They lost 6 killed, 23 wounded and 580 

January 11. A Federal scouting party, under Major E. S. Troxel, 
moved from Keyser, passing through Pendleton County. 

January 15. Skirmish at Petersburg. Major Troxel defeated McNeill. 

January 19. Rebel guerrillas wrecked a train on the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad near Duffield. 

February 4. Train thrown from track and robbed by Confederates near 
Harper's Ferry. 

February 5. Major H. W. Gilmor was captured by Federals under 
Colonel Young, near Moorefield. 

February 21. Generals Crook and Kelley were captured at Cumberland 
by 61 Confederates under Lieutenant Jesse McNeill, son of Captain J. H. 
McNeill. There were 3500 Union troops in Cumberland at the time. 

February 26. General Winfield S. Hancock was assigned to the com- 
mand of the Federal forces in West Virginia. 

March 15. Rebel guerrilas were defeated on the South Fork, above 
Moorefield, by Captain McNulty. 

March 22. Lieutenant Martin defeated Confederates of McNeill's com- 
mand on Patterson Creek, in Mineral County, killing 2, wounding 3. 

March 30. A railroad train was derailed and robbed near Patterson 
Creek Bridge, in Mineral County, by McNeill's command. 

April 2. General W. H. Emory was assigned to the command of Union 
forces in West Virginia. 

April 6. Confederates under Mosby captured Loudoun County Rangers 
near Charlestown. 

April 10. General Emory proposed to Governor Boreman that the West 
Virginia civil authorities resume their functions, re-open the courts and 
dispense justice, inasmuch as "no large bodies of armed Rebels are in the 

April 12. Lieutenant S. H. Draper raided a Rebel rendezvous on Tim- 
ber Ridge, Hampshire County. 

April 15. Captain Joseph Badger moved from Philippi with a scouting 
party, passing through Randolph and Pocahontas Counties, returning to 
Philippi April 23. 

May 8. McNeill's company surrendered at Romney. 

June 1. Colonel Wesley Owens left Clarksburg with 400 men and made 
a twelve days expedition through Pocahontas and Pendleton Counties, 
hunting for Governor William Smith, of Virginia, who had not surrendered. 
He was also collecting Government property, mostly horses, scattered 
through those counties. No trace was found of the fugitive governor. 
The country was exhausted and desolated. Only two families were found in 
Huntersville, Pocahontas County. The paroled Confederate soldiers were 
coming home and were trying to plant corn with but little to work with. 
By the terms of surrender granted Lee by Grant, the Confederate soldiers 


who had horses or mules were permitted to keep them. Old cavalry horses 
and artillery mules were harnessed to plows, and peace again reigned in the 
mountains of West Virginia. 

West Virginia furnished 36,530 soldiers for the Union, and about 7000 
for the Confederate armies. In addition to these there were 32 companies 
of troops in the state service, some counties having one company, some 
two. Their duty was to scout, and to protect the people against guer- 
rillas. The majority of them were organized in 1863 and 1864. These com- 
panies with their captains were as follows: 
Captain M. T. Haller Barbour County. 

' ' A. All top Marion County. 

" H. S. Sayre Doddridge County. 

" J. C. Wilkinson Lewis County. 

' ' George C. Kennedy Jackson County. 

' ' John Johnson " " 

' ' William Logsdon Wood County. 

" William Ellison Calhoun County. 

' ' Alexander Donaldson Roane County. 

' ' Hiram Chapman " " 

" . H. S. Burns Wirt County. 

' ' John Boggs Pendleton County. 

M. Mallow 

' ' John Ball Putnam County. 

" J. L. Kesling Upshur County. 

' ' William R. Spaulding Wayne County. 

" M. M. Pierce Preston County. 

' ' William Gandee Roane County. 

' ' Nathaniel J. Lambert Tucker County. 

' ' James A. Ramsey Nicholas County. 

' ' John S. Bond Hardy County. 

' ' William Bartrum Wayne County. 

Ira G. Copeley " " 

' ' William Turner Raleigh County. 

' ' Sanders Mullins Wyoming County. 

' ' Robert Brooks Kanawha County. 

" B. L. Stephenson Clay County. 

" G. P. Taylor Braxton County. 

W. T. Wiant Gilmer County. 

' ' Isaac Brown Nicholas County. 

' ' Benjamin R. Haley Wayne County. 

' ' Sampson, Snyder Randolph County. 


County \-\ isto ry 



The sources from which county history is obtained are chiefly three, 
from old books, maps and newspapers; from the county records at the 
Court-House, and from old citizens. Facts of importance come in from 
various quarters, often unlooked for; and in order to avail himself of 
everything that can throw light on the subject, the compiler must work 
long and patiently to bring together the scattered fragments and make of 
them a complete story. Of the early books treating of Randolph 
County, .the Border Warfare, by A. S. Withers, is the most important. This 
is supplemented by DeHass and added to by R. G. Thwaites. Mistakes 
made by "Withers regarding Randolph, and followed by writers since, are 
corrected in this History. The old maps consulted are mostly found 
in Justin Winsor's great History of America, and in Sparks' Life 
and . Writings of Washington. The History of the United States, by 
George Bancroft, and Benjamin Franklin's Treatise on Lands West 
of the Alleghanies, have been followed as the highest authority on 
Indian tribes and their location. But the most important source of inform- 
ation has been the county records. Randolph's history for more than a 
century is preserved in names, dates and figures scattered through seventy- 
seven heavy volumes of manuscript, every page of which has been care- 
fully examined in collecting data for this book. The work was heavy and 
tedious; but it was done in the hope that the people of Randolph would 
appreciate an effort to collect and arrange these stores of information, 
heretofore familiar only to lawyers and others whose life-work among the 
records made them acquainted with their contents. The result of this 
labor will be found in the chapter ' 'Court Records of a Century. " 

In this connection it is necessary to say a word as to the spelling of pro- 
per names. Every effort has been made to ascertain what spelling is cor- 
rect; but the task was, in some cases, well nigh hopeless. Names were 
spelled in every possible way — except the right way — and if the readers of 
this bookfind that the names of their ancestors are not in accordance with 
modern orthography in the family, they should not be too hasty in conclud- 
ing that the historian was careless. It requires some perseverance to find 
out that "Crafer," "Craffor," "Crafard" and "Crawford" are all spellings 
for the same man; yet Andrew Crawford's name was spelled in that many 
ways in the old records. At the present time a numerous family of Ran- 
dolph spells the name 'Wees" or "Weese." In 1803 it was spelled "Weze," 
in 1812, on the land books in Richmond, it was spelled "Wease." A moun- 
tain, named from the family, is spelled, on the Government maps, "Weiss;" 
yet in 1813, one of the founders of the family signed his name "Waas." 
Who is to decide what spelling is right? 

In preparing the chapter on the Civil War, access was had to the 
reports and correspondence, both Federal and Confederate, of the officers 
who took part. Information was also received from many persons who had 
knowledge of what took place. There is in this as in nearly eyery depart- 
ment of history more or less disagreement as to facts; but in this book au- 
thorities are sifted and compared, and no statement is made without good 





Nearly thirty years elapsed after settlements were planted on the upper 
waters of the Potomac before the tide of emigration .gained sufficient force 
to cross the Alleghenies and take possession of the valleys of the west. 
The country beyond the mountains, when spoken of by the Virginians, was 
called " the waters of the Mississippi," because the streams having their 
sources on the western slope flowed into the Mississippi River, while those 
rising eastward of the summit found their way into the Atlantic Ocean. It 
was usual, from about 1760 to 1780 for the Virginia records to distinguish 
between the eastern and western country by calling the former " Hampshire 
County, " and the latter ' ' the waters of the Mississippi, " because Hampshire 
included the most important settlements between the Valley of Virginia and 
the summit of the Alleghenies, and did not include any country on the 
western slope, except about eighty square miles in the present county of 
Tucker. Hunters and explorers crossed the mountains occasionally from 
very early times, and the country westward gradually became known. The 
purpose of this chapter is to mention the routes by which the early settlers 
and explorers found their way over the Alleghenies to the upper valleys of 
Cheat River and the Monongahela, particularly that section now included 
in Randolph and Tucker counties. The subject has been much neglected 
by writers who have pretended to cover the field, they having given their 
attention to the great highway to the west, from Cumberland to Pittsburg, 
and losing sight of the fact that there were other paths, which were of no 
small importance although now almost forgotten. Before proceeding to a 
consideration of some of them, a brief history will be given of the highway 
from Cumberland west, by which settlers of the lower Monongahela found 
their way across the mountains. 

About the year 1750 the Ohio Company, a wealthy corporation engaged 
in trading with Indians, and also dealing in lands west of Laurel Hill, em- 
ployed Colonel Thomas Cresap, who lived fifteen miles east of Cumberland, 
to survey a path by which traders could carry their goods to the Ohio River. 
The company had a store and a fort at Cumberland, then called Will's Creek. 
Colonel Cresap offered a reward to the Indian who would mark the best 
route for a path from Cumberland to the site of Pittsburg. An Indian 
named Nemacolin received the reward, and a path was marked. Part of 
the way it followed a buffalo trail by which those animals had crossed the 

*This chapter deals in a general way only of early settlements and Indian troubles, 
and does not enter into details. In other parts of this book much additional informa- 
tion on the subjects will be found which could not be properly presented in this chapter. 


mountains for ages. Traders with their packhorses traveled the path from 
that time, if indeed, they had not been traveling it, or one similar to it, for 
years. Traders by the hundred, and packhorses by the thousand, had made 
their way to the Ohio before that time. In 1748 three hundred English 
traders crossed the Alleghanies, some by way of the Kanawha, others by 
Cumberland, and others by still other routes. In 1749 the French explorer, 
Celeron, met a company of six traders in Ohio, with fifty horses loaded with 
furs, bound for Philadelphia. The Nemacolin trail was widened into a 
wagon road as far as the Monongahela in 1754, by G-eorge Washington. 
This was the first wagon road made from the Atlantic slope over the moun- 
tains to the Mississippi basin. The next year, 1755, Braddock, with his 
army, widened the road and completed it within nine miles of Pittsburg. 
He was defeated and the road remained unfinished. The National Road 
now follows nearly the route of that road. Braddock took 1500 horses over 
the route, and more than one hundred wagons, besides several heavy can- 
non. Although the road was a good one, yet for twenty-five years not a 
wagon loaded with merchandise passed over it. Traders still jDacked on 
horses. In 1784 the -people on the Monongahela, in Pennsylvania, paid 
five cents a pound to have their merchandise carried from Philadelphia, and 
in 1789 they paid four cents for carrying from Carlisle to Uniontown. Pack- 
ing was a trade. There were those who followed it for a living. Wages 
paid the packhorse driver were fifteen dollars per month, and men were 
scarce at that price. In 1789 the first wagon loaded with merchandise 
reached the Monongahela River, passing over the Braddock road. It was 
driven by John Hayden, and hauled two thousand pounds from Hagerstown 
to Brownsville, and was drawn by four horses. One month was consumed 
in making the trip, and the freight bill was sixty dollars. This was cheaper 
than packing on horses.* 

Prior to the time the first wagonload of merchandise reached the west- 
ern waters, a movement had been set on foot for opening a canal along the 
bank of the Potomac from Alexandra, in Virginia, to a point on the North 
Branch of the Potomac near where the Northwestern pike crosses that 
stream at Gorman, in Grant County, West Virginia. Thence a road was to 
be made across the mountain, thirty or more miles, to Cheat River, and a 
canal constructed down that stream to a point where it could be navigated ; 
or, if more practicable, the road was to be made from the North Branch to 
the nearest navigable point on the Monongahela. The prime mover in this 
scheme was George Washington. He had thought over it for years, and in 
1775 he was about to take steps to organize a company to build the canal 
when the Revolutionary War began, and he could do nothing further till 
the war closed. As soon as peace was established he took up again the 
canal scheme. He believed that easy and adequate communication should 
be opened between the Atlantic Coast and the great valleys west of the 
Alleghanies; because, if those valleys remained cut off from the East by the 
mountain barriers, the settlers who were flocking there by thousands, would 
seek an outlet for trade down the Ohio and Mississippi, and their commer- 
cial interests would lead to political ties which would bind them to the 
Spanish colonies in the Mississippi Valley, and gradually they would become 
indifferent to the Atlantic Coast States, f Washington believed that the 

*See the " Monongahela of Old," by Veach. 
tSee Sparks' Lite and Writings of Washington. 

Early settlements and Indian troubles. 177 

people west of the mountains should be bound to the East by commerce and 
community of interest, or they would set up an independent republic, and 
enter into an alliance or union witb the Spanish. He therefore urged that 
two canals be built, one by way of the Potomac and the Monongahela ; the 
other by way of the James and the Kanawha. In 1784, the year after peace 
was signed with England, he crossed the Alleghanies, and visited the Mon- 
ongahela, on a tour of observation, as well as to look after large tracts of 
land which he owned in the West. On his return he ascended Cheat River 
and crossed the mountains to Staunton. The wisdom of America's greatest 
man is shown no more in his success in war and his foresight in politics 
than in his wonderful grasp and understanding of the laws governing trade, 
and the effects of geography on the future history of a country. We who 
look back, and have the advantage of history, do not see any more clearly 
than Washington foresaw, the needs of bonds to unite the East and the 
West. And with equal foresight he mapped the most practicable routes for 
highways. The surveys made for the canal from Alexandria to the Mon- 
ongahela, forty years after, followed almost the identical line marked by 
Washington, including the roads across the mountains. The canal was 
never built further than Cumberland, because the inventioii of railroads by 
that time put a stop to canal building. When Washington began to urge 
the construction of a canal, he was opposed by the Maryland Assembly; but 
in 1784, when he returned to the prosecution of his scheme, Maryland joined 
Virginia, and in December of that year both made appropriations for open- 
ing a road "from the highest practicable navigation of the Potomac to that 
of the River Cheat or the Mononghela. "* Washington was the first presi- 
dent of the canal company. He was given stock to the value of several 
thousand dollars in that company, and an equal amount in the canal to be 
constructed up the James River and down the Kanawha. He refused to 
receive either except on condition that he be permitted to devote his stock 
to some educational purpose. He did this in his will. 

Having thus spoken of highways and proposed highways, between the 
Potomac River and the Upper Valley of the Ohio, it remains to be shown 
that these were not the only paths across the mountains. Those mentioned 
were of large, almost national importance ; the paths yet to be spoken of 
were of local importance only ; but so far as Randolph and Tucker counties 
are concerned, they were of more importance than the Braddock road ; be- 
cause the majority of the early settlers of Upper Cheat and of Tygart's 
Valley did not travel the Braddock road, but entered by trails further 
south, of which there were three important ones, and one of lesser import- 
ance. This latter was known as the McCullough Trail. It passed from 
Moorefield to Patterson Creek, up that stream through Greenland Gap, in 
Grant County ; crossed over a spur of the Alleghanies to the North Branch, 
following the general line of the Northwestern pike to the head of the 
Little Youghiogheny, in Garrett County, Maryland, thence to the Youghio- 
gheny west of Oakland, and on to Cheat River near the Pennsylvania line. 
But a branch from it led down Horse Shoe Run to the mouth of Lead Mine 
Run where it intersected another path to be spoken of later. This branch 
of the McCullough Trail was occasionally traveled by early settlers on Cheat 
and the Valley River, but it was of minor importance. Another trail led 
up the North Branch of the Potomac to the head of that stream, where the 

*See Herring's Statutes. 


Fairfax Stone was planted. Thence it crossed Backbone Mountain to the 
head of Lead Mine Run, about ten miles east of St. George, in Tucker 
County. It followed down Lead Mine to its mouth, thence down Horse Shoe 
Run, to Cheat River at the Horse Shoe, three miles above St. George. 
Thence one branch led down Cheat, across Laurel Hill to the Valley River 
below Philippi, in Barbour County. The other branch passed up Cheat to 
the vicinity of Parsons, Tucker County. Thence is passed, by a route not 
now definitely known, to the head of Leading Creek, in Randolph County, 
and thence to the settlements on Tygart's River. The geography of the 
country renders it probable that the path from Cheat to Leading Creek fol- 
lowed Pheasant Run. The majority of the settlers on Cheat River, above 
and below the Horse Shoe, came to the country by this trail, from the 
Potomac ; and many of those who settled on Leading Creek did likewise ; 
but there was another path by which many of the early settlers of Ran- 
dolph entered the county. This will be spoken of presently. There is no 
record of the marking of the path by Fairfax Stone. It seems to have been 
there at the earliest visit of the whites, and was probably an Indian path 
or a buffalo trail across the mountain. It is known that not only the earliest 
settlers on Cheat, but also. some of the earliest on the Buckhannon River, 
and on the West Fork, entered the country by this path. The first white 
man to follow the trail was probably William Mayo in 1736. It is known 
that he ascended the North Branch in that year, and discovered the streams 
which have their sources on the western slope of the mountains — tributaries 
of Cheat River. History does not say how far westward he followed the 
streams ; probably not far. Nine years later other explorers ascended the 
North Branch to the present territory of Tucker County, and a map made 
of the region soon after is tolerably accurate. During the French and 
Indian war, from 1754 to 1759, it is believed that parties of Indians occa- 
sionally followed the path in their raids into Hampshire and Frederick 
Counties ; but it cannot be established positively that they did so. 

Twenty miles south of the trail which led by way of Fairfax Stone, an- 
other path crossed the Alleghanies, known as the Shawnee Trail, and in 
later years sometimes called the Senaca Trail. The former name was given 
because it was traveled by Shawnee Indians, notably, by Killbuck's bands, 
in raiding the South Branch settlement. It was called the Senaca Trail be- 
cause, after reaching the summit of the Alleghany, it passed down Senaca 
Creek to the North Fork. The trail, beginning near Huttonsville, passed 
near Beverly and Elkins, thence across the branches of Cheat River above 
the mouth of Horse Camp Creek ; thence to the summit of the Alleghany ; 
down Senaca on the eastern side to the North Fork. Thence one branch 
probably ascended North Fork to connect with another trail further 
south to be described presently; another branch passed down the 
North Fork to Petersburg and Moorefield where it intersected the McCul- 
lough Trail, or what was subsequently called the McCullough Trail. 
Let it be understood that, although these trails were traveled by the early 
settlers, they were originally Indian paths, and had been traveled by the 
aborigines, time out of mind. The first settlers found them and used them. 
The Shawnee path was of great importance. It was the chief highway be- 
tween Tygart's Valley and the South Branch for a century. Hundreds of 
packhorses, laden with salt, iron and other merchandise, traveled it every 
year, and many a drove of cattle passed over it. During the Civil War it 
was frequently used by soldiers. Many of the horses and cattle captured 


by Imboden and Jones in their great raid of 1863, were sent across the 
mountains by that path. General Averell, who had command of Federal 
forces in this part of West Virginia, found it necessary to post strong 
pickets on the trail. A wagon road has since been made, following the 
general course of the path, and the old trail is no longer used, but it can 
still be followed, and traces of it will probably remain for a hundred years. 

Fifty miles southwest of the Fairfax Stone another path crossed the 
mountain. It is difficult at the present day to ascertain the exact route by 
which it led from the Potomac to the head of Tygart's Valley River. For 
a portion of the way its location is well known. It passed up the South 
Branch of the Potomac to the mouth of the North Fork, in Grant County ; 
ascended that stream to the mouth of Dry Run, in the southwestern part of 
Pendleton County ; passed up Laurel Creek into Highland County, Virginia, 
and near where the Staunton and Parkersburg pike crosses that stream, 
the path turned toward the west, and ascended the Alleghany Mountain. 
It followed the dividing ridge, as is believed, between Deer Creek and Little 
Run, in Pocahontas County, a short distance, then descended the East Fork 
of Greenbrier River to the main river ; crossed it ; crossed Shaver's Moun- 
tain to the headwaters of Shaver's Fork of Cheat River ; thence across 
Cheat Mountain to Tygart's Valley River. It will be seen that from the 
head of the North Fork to Tygart's Valley, the path deviated but little from 
the general course of the Staunton and Parkersburg pike. No person 
knows when this path was first used. Without doubt it dates back beyond 
the reach of history, and was followed by buffaloes and Indians before emi- 
grants and traders made it a highway across the mountains. It was prob- 
ably a branch of a famous Indian trail which came through Pennsylvania ; 
traversed Maryland east of Cumberland ; crossed the Potomac at the mouth 
of the South Branch ; ascended that stream to its headwaters. After reach- 
ing Tygart's Valley River, it intersected the Shawnee Trail near Huttons- 
ville, crossed to the head of the Little Kanawha, in the southern part of 
Upshur County, and followed that stream to the Ohio River. A tradition 
that the trail up the Little Kanawha, and thence across the mountains to 
the Potomac, was marked out by a squad of soldiers who escaped from 
Braddock's battle, in 1755, and made their way to the Little Kanawha, and 
up that stream, should be given little credence. It is impossible that any 
soldiers escaped by that route, and if they did, the trail is well known to 
have been in existence long before that date.* 

A study of the physical features of the country, lying between the 
North Branch of the Potomac and the head of the South Branch, a region 
stretching fifty miles southwest along the Alleghanies from Fairfax Stone, 
will show why so few paths crossed between the valleys on the east and 
those on the west. The country, embracing more than a thousand square 
miles, was and is one of exceeding difficulty to the traveler. Between the 
two points, Fairfax Stone and the head of the South Branch, the Alleghany 

*There was another Indian trail which led from Valley Bend, some six miles above 
Beverly, over Cheat Mountain by way of the head of Files Creek, thence crossing Cheat 
River at the mouth of Fishing Hawk, and from there by way of the Sinks of Gandy to 
the headwaters of the South Branch. There is a tradition that the Tygart family fol- 
lowed that trail when they fled from the Indians who had massacred the Files family in 
the winter of 1753-4. A trail led up the Great Kanawha, up the Elk to the mouth of 
Valley Fork in Randolph County, up Valley Fork, down Elk Water to Tygart's Valley. 
It is believed that no other place in West Virginia contained the meeting of so many 
trails as Tygart's Valley. It was, evidently, a favorite hunting ground for the Indians. 


Mountain and the parallel and crumpled ridges lying on both sides, are 
pushed together in rugged and stupendous masses; broken and cleft; steep 
and bleak; cut by ravines; battlemented by crags and pinnacles; and had 
all the jungles and thickets been removed, they would still have offered 
serious obstacles to the passage of the emigrant and explorer. .But, added 
to the rocks and cliffs, the whole region, along the upper tributaries of 
Cheat River, over to the Greenbrier, was one unbroken wilderness of pines 
and tangled laurel. Nearly a century passed, after the settlement of 
the country on both sides, before roads were constructed through this wil- 
derness, even in the most favorable places. And to this day there are 
scores of square miles where scarcely a cabin is to be seen. The dense beds 
of laurel even yet appall the hunter; and they are entered only when the 
lumberman's ax cuts the way, or where railroads slash and blast their lines 
through jungles and rocks. As late as 1861, when Garnett's army was 
defeated in Randolph County, and was cut off from retreat by the Stanton 
pike, it was compelled to make a detour of one hundred and twenty miles 
to pass round this trackless wilderness, when the distance was only one- 
half, could it have made its way directly across the mountains. Again, 
in November, 1862, when Imboden made a dash with 300 cavalry from 
Pendleton County to St. George, and was compelled to fall back, he saved 
his army from capture by overwhelming forces on nearly all sides, by taking 
refuge in the forests between Dry Fork and Shaver's Fork, where he was 
safe from pursuit. 

It can be seen that the Mountain Wilderness was a barrier which the 
emigrant was able to cross at only three points — at the northern, at the 
middle, and at the southern extremity. While the stream of emigration 
was pouring into the Ohio Valley along the Braddock road, and along the 
Forbes road north of it, and while another stream of home seekers passed 
down the Kanawha, three obscure paths, hardly known then and now 
almost forgotten, conducted the hardy pioneer into the Valley of the Cheat 
and to the Tygart Valley, and to other valleys further west. 


Having seen some of the difficulties in the way of the early settlers 
of Randolph in reaching the country, it now remains to show what fate 
befell them, and the vicissitudes of fortune through which the infant colony 
passed. The first settlement on the waters of the Monongahela within 
the present territory of West Virginia, was made as early as 1753, possibly 
a year earlier. It was made by two families, Robert Files, or Foyle, where 
Beverly now stands, and by David Tygart, farther up the Valley, near 
the present site of the " brick house. " From the one settler Files Creek 
takes its name, and from the other the River and Valley. It appears from 
contemporaneous records in Virginia that the proper spelling of the name 
was Foyle, not Files; but the latter spelling has been so long used that it 
will never be changed. The nearest neighbors of the emigrants lived on 
the South Branch, on the one side, at the mouth of the Youghiogheny, in 
Pennsylvania, on the other, while southward there were two white men living 
in the present territory of Pocahontas County, and a settlement still further 
south in Greenbrier County. It is stated by Withers, the earliest historian, 
that an Indian village was near the settlement. This was doubtless a mis- 
take. No Indian town is known to have been in that part of West Virginia 
at the time under consideration. Bulltown, on the Little Kanawha, in the 


present County of Braxton, about fifty miles from this settlement, was 
probably meant.* It was near enough to have been considered danger- 
ously near; but, fortunately, the village was not there at that time. It was 
not founded until about twelve years afterwards, when a Delaware chief, 
Bull, with five families came there and settled. They were from Orange 
County, New York, and were living in New York as late as 1764, at 
which time Bull was arrested, charged with taking part in Pontiac's con- 
spiracy, was carried to New York City and subsequently was released and 
he moved with his families to Bulltown, and remained about five years. 
The settlers from Hacker's Creek, in Lewis County, destroyed the town in 
1772. It is further stated by Withers that an Indian trail passed near the 
settlement. This w«,s no doubt the path up the Little Kanawha and down 
the North Pork of the Potomac, already mentioned, or that branch, called 
the Shawnee Trail, which led into Pendleton County, f 

During the season of 1753 the two families in Tygart's Valley not hav- 
ing raised enough corn for their bread, and also probably having some 
uneasiness on account of the growing hostility of the Indians and French, 
decided to leave the country for the present. This was late in De- 
cember, 1753, or early in January, 1751, as inferred from Governor Din- 
widdie's account of the affair. But they had delayed their departure too 
long Indians appeared at the Files cabin and murdered him, his wife and 
five children. One son, who was not at the house, escaped. The youngest 
child killed was ten years old. The boy who escaped fled to Tygart's 
house about two miles up the valley and gave the alarm in time for the 
family to escape. The Indians who did this deed were returning, as is said, 
from a raid on the South Branch where they had killed or carried into 
captivity a young man. The date of the Files murder has long been dis- 
puted. Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, in his speech to the Assembly, 
February 14, 1754, refers to it and says it was ' ' no longer ago than last 
month," which would place it in January, 1754. On February 4, 1754, the 
bodies of the murdered settlers were discovered by white people, and ' 'they 
seemed to have been dead about two months." It is presumed that the 
dead were buried, although Withers says that in 1772 a man named West- 
fall found the bones and buried them. % 

*It is not improbable tbat the Indian village referred to by Withers, was supposed 
by him to occupy a site 32 miles south of Beverly, on Mingo Run, a small tributary of 
Tygart's River. Old settlers supposed, and present inhabitants of the vicinity maintain, 
that when the country was first visited by white people the Mingo Indians occupied a 
town at that place, and from them Mingo Run, Mingo Knob and Mingo Flats were 
named. However, it is morally certain, if not absolutely so, that no Indian town existed 
at the place after the country became known to white men. That an Indian town once 
existed there, the proof is ample; and the same proof places the town long prior to the 
coming of the white people. As shown in a former chapter of this book, the Indian 
tribes once occupying West Virginia were driven out or exterminated by Mohawks from 
New York a century before the first white man's cabin was built west of the Alleghanies. 
The village on Mingo Run, therefore, must have ceased to exist as the permanent home 
of Indians not later than 1672, eighty years, at least, before Files built his cabin. 

tR. G-. Thwaites, who edited a new edition of Withers, speaks of this trail as 
the " Warrior Branch. " The "Warrior Branch" crossed the Ohio River forty or fifty 
miles above Parkersburg, and passed from there into Pennsylvania, and at its nearest 
point it was fully one hundred miles from Tygart's Valley. 

Jlf the Indians who murdered the Files family were "returning from the South 
Branch," where they had "killed or carried into captivity a young man," it is probable 
the murder occurred early in the fall of 1753, instead of December of that year or Janu- 


After this, Tygart's Valley lay vacant for eighteen years. Prom 1754 
to 1764 there was trouble with the Indians on the border most of the time, 
and it was an inauspicious time to plant settlements west of the mountains. 
So disastrous was the war that the settlements east of the mountains were 
pushed back to Winchester, with only a few forts between there and Cum- 
berland. The settlements on the Monongahela in Pennsylvania were 
broken up, and the Indians and the French held sway west of the Alle- 
ghanies. But when peace returned, in 1765, settlers began to cross the 
mountains. There was a considerable colony in Upshur County by 1769, 
and the outposts of the white settlers had reached the Ohio at Wheeling. 
But not till 1772 was a second attempt made to plant settlements in Ran- 
dolph County, and this colony was permanent. The Valley above and 
below Beverly had been visited from time to time by hunters and explorers, 
and the excellent quality of the land was well known. When it began to 
be taken, it went very rapidly, and in a short time it was all taken, for 
thirty miles up and down the river. * Among the early settlers who took up 
land in 1772, were the names Haddan, Whitman, Wamsley, Warwick, Nelson, 
Stalnaker, Riffle and Westfall. In this year, 1772, settlements were made in 
Harrison, Lewis, Taylor; and settlements in Monongalia and Marion Coun- 
ties, made some years before, were in a flourishing condition. But so much 
could not be said for the colony in Upshur County; not that anything 
was lacking with the people or land; but so many new comers entered the 
county that corn was consumed and bread failed. The year 1773 was long 
known in Upshur County as "the starving year." Settlements in Tucker 
County were made about the same time by the Parsonses, Minears, Coopers, 
Goffs, Camerons and Millers. 

In 1774 came the Dunmore War, and the people in Randolph built two 
forts, Westfall's and Currence's. f These were simply large log houses, and 
chimneys on the inside to prevent Indians from climbing to the roof . Holes 
were made for shooting through. No Indians gave trouble in the Valley 

ary 1754. The only prisoner known to have been carried away from the South Branch 
about that time was a boy named Zane. In Washington's Journal of his Mission to the 
French in Western Pennsylvania, he speaks of a boy who had recently been carried to 
that country from the South Branch, by Indians. Washington wrote this on November 
25, 1753, and the boy had been carried away some time before that. If the captors of 
Zane were the murderers of the Files family, tbe murder occurred not later than October, 
1753. The proof is far from positive, but very probably the murder occurred about that 
time. It is not likely that Indians would have made a journey through the mountains 
in midwinter — December or January. If Files had not raised enough corn for bread, 
and contemplated a return to the settlements, he would not have waited till midwinter 
to make the trip. This strengthens the probability that tbe murder occurred in the fall. 

*For more specific information as to how and when lands were taken up in Ran- 
dolph, see an article in this book headed "Old Land Patents." 

fThe Uurrence Fort was evidently the "Casino's" Fort spoken of in Withers' Border 
Warfare. There was no fort in Randolph County named "Casino's." The Currence 
Fort stood one-half mile east of Crickard, in Tygart's Valley. Many years after the 
Indian wars the fort was torn down and the logs were used in buildinga residence which 
was occupied half a century. In 1873 the house was torn down, and the logs were used in 
building an abutment in the river to keep the bank from washing. Some years later a 
Hood carried the logs away, after they had seen service more than one hundred years. 
The Westfall Fort stood a quarter of a mile south of Beverly. Nearly a century ago it 
was torn down and re-built on the bluff where D. R. Baker now lives. It still stands in 
a good state of preservation, and probably it is the only Indian fort now standing in 
West Virginia, although the ruins of several are still pointed out. It was built in 1774 
and is now (1898) 124 years old. 


that year, although they prowled about the fort built in the Horse Shoe, in 
Tucker County, until they so alarmed the settlers that they abandoned their 
colony and retreated to the South Branch. The people in Randolph proba- 
bly owed their safety to their vigilance. They kept scouts in the mountains 
watching all the paths by which Indians would be likely to enter the coun- 
try. On the first intimation of danger, the settlers locked themselves in 
their forts. Indians seldom made an attack when they knew the people 
were prepared for them. The war closed in the fall of 1774 and there was 
peace until 1777, when the Revolutionary War commenced. The British 
induced the not unwilling Indians to take arms against the western settlers. 
There was much alarm along the borders. The people of Randolph 
repaired their forts, and again practiced the caution which had stood them 
so well three years before. They sent scouts to watch Indian paths. The 
first misfortune of the war, affecting Randolph County, befell two of these 
scouts, Leonard Petro and William White. They were watching the path 
up the Little Kanawha, perhaps in Braxton County. Late one evening they 
shot an elk. Scouts watching Indian trails fired guns only when necessary 
to procure food, as the report might betray them to Indians. Such hap- 
pened on the present occasion. A party of Indians were near, and hearing 
the gun, sought out the camp of the scouts and prepared to attack them • 
At that moment White, who was awake, discovered them in the moonlight, 
and being too near to escape, he whispered to Petro to lie still. The next 
instant an Indian sprang upon them. White aimed a blow with his toma- 
hawk, but missed. He at once changed his tactics, and putting on a cheer- 
ful air, pretended that he had struck while half asleep, and had no wish to 
hurt Indians. He said he and Petro were on their way to join the Indians. 
His story might have deceived them had not the woeful face of Petro told a 
different story. It was plainly seen that he was not pleased with the situ- 
ation. The Indians tied them for the rest of the night, and in the morning, 
having painted Petro black, indicating that he was to be killed, they started 
with the prisoners and carried them to Ohio. Petro was never again heard 
of.* White stole a gun, killed an Indian who was on horseback, took the 
horse, and rode home, arriving in Randolph in November, 1777. 

It is probable that Indians followed him. At any rate a few days after 
he reached Tygart's Valley a party of twenty Indians approached within 
ten miles of the settlements. But a snow having fallen, they were afraid 
to venture nearer lest their tracks should betray them before they could 
murder anybody. They accordingly lay hid ten miles from the head of the 
Valley, until the snow was gone. On December 15, they attacked Darby 
Connolly's house, in the upper end of the Valley, killed him, his wife and 
several of his children, and took the others prisoner. They next appeared 
at the house of John Stewart and killed him, his wife and child, and carried 
away as a prisoner his sister-in-law, Miss Hamilton. They retreated loaded 
with plunder. John Haddan passed the house that evening and discovered 
the murder. He sent a message to Wilson's Port, twenty-seven miles down 
the Valley, and the next morning Colonel Benjamin Wilson, who was then 
a commissioned officer in the Revolutionary army, was at the scene of the 
murder with thirty men, and followed the trail five days through rain and 

*The Petro family (sometimes spelled Pedro) were said to be Spanish. They were 
dark of complexion and of spare build. When and how they came to Randolph has never ' 
been certainly ascertained. They are frequently mentioned in the earliest county 
records, and their decendants are now numerous in Eandolph and adjoining counties. 


snow, wading water at times to the waist, and at times their clothing hung 
with icicles. The savages could not be overtaken, and the men reluctantly 
returned to the Valley. That was the last mischief done by Indians in 
West Virginia that year. It had been a terrible year on the frontiers from 
Pittsburg to Kentucky, and is known as the "bloody year of three 7's."* 

The Valley was not visited by Indians in 1778. The next year they 
came in October and shot Lieutenant John White who was riding along the 
road. He was a useful and popular man in the community and his death 
was viewed as a public calamity. Colonel- Benjamin Wilson raised a party 
of men and marched with all speed through the present counties of Upshur 
and Lewis, into Gilmer, hoping to cut the Indians off at a well known 
crossing of the Little Kanawha, at the mouth of Sand Pork. He remained 
concealed there for three days, but the Indians did not arrive. They had 
probably returned to Ohio by some other route, f 

Up to 1780 the Indians who had visited Tygart's Valley had done so in 
the fall of the year. But in 1780 they came in March and set a dan- 
gerous ambuscade in the upper end of the Valley, above Haddan's Port. 
Thomas Lackey observed the moccasin tracks in the path, and while exam- 
ining them he heard some one say in an undertone; "Let him alone. He 
will go and bring more." He went to Haddan's Port and rejaorted what he 
had seen and heard, but he was not believed. There were at that time 
several men from Greenbrier County staying all night in the fort, intend- 
ing to start home the next morning. When they set out a few of the men 
belonging in the fort accompanied them a short distance. Although 
warned of the danger they approached the spot carelessly and were fired 
upon by the Indians. The horsemen galloped safely by, but the footmen 
were surrrounded, and the only chance for escape they had was to cross the 
river and climb a hill on the opposite side. John McLain was killed thirty 
yards from the brow of the hill; James Ralston still nearer the top; James 
Crouch was wounded but reached the fort next day. John Nelson, after 
crossing the river, attempted to escape down the bank, but was met by an 
Indian and was killed after a desperate hand to hand battle, as was evi- 
denced by his shattered gunstock, the uptorn earth and the locks of Indian 
hair in his still clinched hands. \ 

*The grave of the Connolly family is still pointed out on the present farm of Harmon 
Conrad, and about a third of a mile below the mouth of Connolly Run. One headstone 
marks the grave. 

tThere was a general belief among the old citizens of Randolph that Lieutenant 
White was not killed by Indians but by two deserters from the Continental army, who 
were hiding in the mountains, and suspecting that White was trying to apprehend them 
they waylaid the road and shot him. 

tHaddan's Fort stood on the point of high ground, at the mouth of Elkwater, near 
the Indian mound, o» the present farm of Randolph Crouch. The Indian ambuscade 
was set three miles above the. mouth of Elkwater, where H. C. "Tolly now lives. The 
Indians lay concealed at the mouth of a ravine coming down from the west. The path 
followed the west bank of the river. When tired upon, the men ran across the river and 
climbed the cliffs which rise just above the new road which has lately been made along 
the base of the hill. James Crouch was wounded just as he reached the top of the cliff. 
Nelson was killed between the p resent road and the river. Jacob Warwick and Jacob 
Lemon were the names of the men on horseback. They lived at Clover Lick, in the 
present county of Pocahontas. Warwick's horse was wounded. It is related that War- 
wick promised his horse on that occasion, if he would carry him safely away, he need 
never work again. The horse did so, and Warwick kept his promise. At that time the 
path from Tygart's Valley to Greenbrier followed the river to Mingo, passed over Mingo 


Soon after this, Indians attacked John Gibson's family on a branch of 
the Valley River. Mrs. Gibson was tomahawked in the presence of her 
children, and the other members of the family were carried into captivity. 
About the same time, and probably by the same Indians, Bernard Sims was 
killed at his cabin on Cheat River, four miles above St. George. When they 
saw that he had smallpox, they fled without scalping him. The people 
along Cheat took refuge in the fort at St. George. 

The most disastrous Indian visitation Randolph ever experienced took 
place in April, 1781. The savages passed through the settlement along 
the West Pork River without committing any murders, and were shaping 
their course for Cheat River, about St. George, when they fell in with five 
men from St. George, who were returning from Clarksburg where they 
had visited the land commissioners for Monongalia County to obtain 
deeds. The Indians killed John Minear, David Cameron and Mr. 
Cooper. Two others, Miller and Goff, escaped, one returning to Clarks- 
burg, the other making his way to St. George. The Indians continued 
toward St. George till they encountered two men, James Brown and 
Stephen Radcliff, both of whom escaped. The Indians now believed that 
they could not surprise the people on Cheat River, so they turned their 
steps toward Leading Creek, in Randolph County. They nearly broke up 
the settlement. They killed Alexander Roney and took Mrs. Roney and 
her son prisoners. They killed Mrs. Daugherty and Mrs. Hornbeck and her 
children, Mrs. Buffington and her children, and many others whose names 
cannot now be ascertained. Jonathan Buffington and Benjamin Hornbeck 
escaped and carried the news to Wilson's and Friend's Ports. Colonel 
Wilson raised a company and pursued them; but the men became uneasy 
lest their own families should be murdered while unprotected, and they 
returned without having overtaken the savages. But the marauders were 
not to escape without severe chastisement. When the news reached 
Clarksburg that the land claimants were murdered on the Valley River, 
scouts were sent out to watch for the return of the Indians. Their trail 
was found soon alter on West Pork River, near Isaac Creek, in the present 
County of Harrison. Colonel William Lowther, of Hacker's Creek, Lewis 
County, raised a company and went in pursuit. He overtook them on a 
branch of Hughes River in Ritchie County, late in the afternoon. He kept 
his men Out of sight till the Indians were asleep, and then poured a volley 
into them, killing five. The others saved themselves by flight, leaving 
everything in camp but one gun. One of the prisoners, son ' of Alexander 
Roney, was killed by the fire of the attacking party, although every pre- 
caution had been taken to avoid such an occurrence. Another prisoner, 
Daniel Daugherty, an Irishman, came near sharing the same fate. The 
Indians had tied him down and he was so numb with cold he could scarcely 
speak. As the white men rushed forward, after the first fire, Daugherty 
was mistaken for a wounded Indian, and not being able to speak he was 
about to receive the tomahawk when fear loosed his tongue and he 
exclaimed: "Lo-ord, Jesus! and am Oi to be killed by white paple at 
last!" * His life was saved. Mrs. Roney, another prisoner, was overcome 

Flats and crossed the mountain west of the present Marlinton Pike. This was an old 
Indian trail. On top of Middle Mountain the trail divided, one part going to Old Field 
Fork, the other to Clover Lick. 

* Wither 's Border Warfare. 


with joy when deliverance came. She ran towards the men exclaiming, 
"I'm Ellick Roney's wife, of the Valley! I'm Ellick Roney's wife, of the 
Valley! and a pretty little woman, too, if I was well dressed." She did not 
know that her son had just been shot. Colonel Lowther returned, fully 
gratified that the savages had not escaped without punishment. 

In the summer of 1782 between twenty and thirty Indians, led by a 
renegade Englishman named Timothy Dorman, who formerly lived on 
Buckhannon River, appeared in Tygart's Valley, after having driven the 
settlers from Upshur County, and burnt the fort near Buckhannon. Be- 
tween Westfall's and Wilson's Ports, a mile below Beverly, the savages 
met John Bush and his wife and Jacob Stalnaker and his son Adam. They 
shot the young man, who fell from his horse. John Bush and his wife 
mounted the horse and escaped. Jacob Stalnaker also escaped, although 
the Indians were so near as to try to catch his horse by the bridle.* 

In the spring of 1789 Indians invaded the settlement about St. George on 
Cheat River, and murdered Jonathan Minear, son of John Minear, who 
was killed by Indians eight years earlier, near Plaillipi. When Jonathan 
Minear was killed he was feeding his cattle. His leg was broken by a 
bullet, and being overtaken he endeavored to escape by running round a 
beech tree, bracing himself by one hand against the tree. An Indian in 
striking at him with a tomahawk struck the tree several times, and the 
marks of the tomahawk in the bark were to be seen a few years ago, and 
probably are still to be seen. Minear was killed and his brother-in-law, 
Philip Washburn, was taken prisoner. The Indians were pursued by a 
squad of men under David Minear, and were fired upon near the Valley 
River, in Barbour County. Three of the savages were wounded and 
Washburn was liberated. 

For nine Years following 1782 Indians did not invade Tygart's Valley. 
The people believed themselves safe and did not live in forts during the 
summer, as formerly; but, as a measure of protection, several families usu- 
ally lived at one house. On May 11, 1791, Indians came for the last time. 
Two or three families were at the house of Joseph Kinnan, which stood on 
the west side of the river a mile above the mouth of Elkwater, on the Adam 
See farm, less than a mile from Haddan's Port. The Indians approached 
the house awhile after dark, and finding the door open, the foremost walked 
in. Mr. Kinnan was sitting on the bed, and the savage extending his hand 
in a friendly manner said, "How d' do, how d' do." Mr. Kinnan extended 
his hand, but at the instant was shot and killed by an Indian in the yard. 
A young man named Ralston, who had been working with a draw- 
ing knife in the room, struck an Indian with it and cut off his nose. An- 
other savage fired at Ralston, but missed, and the young man escaped. 
The savages killed three of Kinnan's children; but two others, Lewis and 
Joseph, were saved by Mrs. Ward, who ran into another room with them 
and escaped through a window. Mrs. Kinnan's brother, Mr. Lewis, was 
asleep in an adjoining room, and being awakened by the firing, he also 
escaped. Taking Mrs. Kinnan prisoner, the savages fled. When they 
reached the head of the Buckhannon River the Indian who had been struck 
with the drawing knife was unable to proceed, and they lay in concealment 

t A settler followed these Indians across the river and shot one of them who was 
drinking at a spring on the side of Rich Mountain. The Indian ran a short distance in 
the woods and fell dead. 



several weeks until he recovered. Mrs. Kinnan remained in captivity three 
years and four months, and was released after General Wayne conquered 
the Indians at the battle of Fallen Timbers.* 

*Withers is mistaken both as to date and name in his account of this occurrence in 
the "Border Warfare." He gives the name Canaan and the date the latter part of the 
summer of 1794. An inventory of his estate was placed on record in Randolph, June 21, 
1793, with Edward Hart administrator. Exclusive of the land the appraisement was 
$517 (See Will Book No. 1, pp. 11, 12, 13, 23 and 24.) In his settlement, made in 1796, Ed- 
ward Hart charged for five gallons of whiskey, which he had "used in settling the estate." 
Nevertheless the estate had not been settled as late as 1829. The date of the death of 
Kinnan is fixed by two letters written in 1829 by Lewis Kinnan, one of the boys who 
was carried out of the house and saved by Mrs. Ward. He and his brother were then 
(1S29) living in Senaca County, New York, and their mother was then living in New 
Jersey. These letters are now in possession of Attorney L. D. Strader, of Beverly. The 
Indians evidently did not rob the house after the murder, as shown by the many articles 
left there, named in the appraisement. This list is valuable as showing what constituted 
the possessions of a family of that day. It is as follows: "9 horses, wheat and rye, bed 
curtains, 2 pairs pillows and cases, 1 towel, 1 fine shirt, 1 lawn apron, 1 black apron, 1 
cambrick apron, fine trumpery, 1 silk-gause apron, 2 handkerchiefs, children's clothing, 
1 coat, 1 jacket, 5 long gowns, 1 pair of shoes and silver buckles, 3 petty-coats, 2 check 
aprons, 4 short gowns, 2 beds and bed-clothing, 1 pair of pockets, 4 platters, 6 basins, 2 
plates, 2 kegs, 1 pail, 1 pot tramble, 1 iron kettle, 2 scythes, 1 set of hangings, 1 gun, 1 
pan, 2 bridles, 36 hogs, 16 cattle, 3 sheep, 1 grubbing hoe, two pairs of plow irons and 
devices, 2 pots, 1 jug, 1 candlestick, 2 flat irons, 1 pair of shears, 9 spoons, steelyards, 1 
brush, 2 collars, 1 ax." 

Grave of the Connolly Family. 




The act of the Virginia Assembly, passed in October, 1786, forming 
Randolph County, provider! that the first court should ' ' be held at the house 
of Benjamin Wilson in Tygart's Valley. "* Accordingly, the first county 
court was held May 28, 1787, and the following gentlemen were Justices of 
the Peace, and under the laws of that time they constituted the Court: 
Jacob Westfall, Salathiel Goff, Patrick Hamilton, John Wilson, Cornelius 
Westfall, Edward Jackson, Robert Maxwell, Peter Cassity, Cornelius 
Bogard, John Jackson, George Westfall, Henry Runyan, John Haddan and 
Jonathan Parsons. Randolph County then included half of Barbour, half 
of Upshur, a large part of Webster, all of Tucker, and the Justices came 
from different parts of that large territory. Salathiel Goff was chosen 
President of the court. He lived in what is now Tucker County, at St. 
George. When the Justices assembled they organized the court by Patrick 
Hamilton administering the oath of office to Salathiel Goff, and Goff swear- 
ing in the others. Jacob Westfall produced a commission from the Governor 
of Virginia appointing him Sheriff, and he was sworn in. His commission 
was dated April 17, 1787. His bondsmen were Salathiel Goff and Edward 
Jackson. John Wilson was elected by the Justices as their clerk and gave 
as his bondsmen Jacob Westfall and another whose name is unreadable on 
the old record. William McCleary was admitted to practice law, the first 
in the county, and ' 'he paid the tax prescribed by law. " He was appointed 
Prosecuting Attorney for one year, at a salary of $13.33^ "should the court 
think proper to continue him for that term. " Edward Jackson and John 
Haymond were placed in nomination for County Surveyor. Jackson re- 
ceived seven votes, Haymond four. Jackson was therefore recommended 
to the Governor as the proper person for County Surveyor, f Cornelius 
Bogard and Salathiel Goff were recommended to the Governor by the court 
for County Coroner. Goff was subsequently appointed. Jacob Westfall 
was recommended to the Governor for County Lieutenant; Patrick Hamilton 
for Colonel of the County, Cornelius Bogard for Lieutenant-Colonel and John 
Wilsonfor Major. There were several military offices at that time filled by ap- 
jiointments by the Governor upon the recommendation of the county court. 
It can be seen that the Justices of that day believed in keeping all the 
offices among themselves, for they recommended nobody outside of their own 

*Hening's Statutes, Vol. 12, p. 384. 

tBy" reference to the chapter on the Virginia Constitutions, in Part I, of this book, 
it will be seen that the people voted directly only for members of the Legislature and 
Overseers of the Poor. Other offices were filled by appointment, some made by the Gov- 
ernor, some by the Legislature, and some by the courts. 


body. They appointed John Haddan, John Jackson and Cornelius Bogard 
"Commissioners of Taxable Property," offices answering nearly to that of 
Assessor at present. 

This court was held about three miles below the present town of Bever- 
ly, at the residence of Colonel Benjamin Wilson. That was the first county 
seat. On the first day of court steps were taken for moving the county 
seat and building a court house, as the following entry in the record shows: 
"Ordered: — That the public buildings be erected on the lands of James 
Westfall, in that space of ground bounded by James Westfall's fence in the 
lower end of his plantation, and the river, by a line drawn from the river at 
right angles, passing by the old 'scool-house' on said Westfall's land, and 
by the county road, on any spot within the tract by this order delineated 
that Jacob Westfall and Cornelius Bogard may appoint, who are hereby 
appointed to view and lay off a certain tract, not exceeding one acre, the 
said Westfall giving and granting the said tract of one a<5re, together with 
timber for said public buildings." 

This ended the proceedings for the first day of the first court of Ran- 
dolph County. Much business was done that day. County offices were 
filled or provided for; salaries were fixed; a county seat was selected; 
ground and timber for a Court-House were provided for; and it is stated in 
tradition, although not of record, that a county seat contest was also settled 
on that day. According to the tradition, the people of Leading Creek wan- 
ted the Court-House, but neglected to offer anything except the land, while 
the people about Beverly offered timber for building purposes, and thus 
secured the county seat. The ground chosen for the Court-House was the 
site of the Court-House still standing. The place was then or shortly 
afterwards, called Edmondton, but in a few years the name was changed to 

The court met again the next day, May 29, 1787, and appointed Consta- 
bles and provided for roads, and then changed the place of holding court 
from Benjamin Wilson's to the house of James Westfall, on the site of Bev- 
erly. That was Randolph's second Court-House in two days. 

There was court every month. The second term began June 25, 1787. 
There was not only usually a new President of the court elected every 
term, but often every day. The Justices divided honors and appropriated 
offices among themselves with a liberality seldom seen in modern times; 
but no outsider need apply. The first step of the ambitious politician of 
those days was to get himself appointed Justice of the Peace. Then, and 
not till then, were the doors to promotion open for him. The Justices re- 
ceived no pay, and it was natural that they should consider themselves 
entitled to appointment to offices which had salaries or fees. The Sheriff's 
place was always in view. The Governor always aj>pointed to that position 
the Justice with the oldest commission. A Sheriff could succeed himself. 
In fact it was usual for him to be appointed twice in succession. After 
that he took his place on the bench with the Justices again, and if he lived 
long enough he would be appointed Sheriff again, when his turn came. 
One Justice, Samuel Bonnifield, was appointed Sheriff of Randolph County 
four times, the last being when he was eighty-eight year old. 

The first case tried in the Randolph court was between William Peter- 
son as plaintiff and James Leeky, defendant. Judgment was for Peterson 
in the sum of $11.65. William Kozer claimed pay as a witness, riding forty- 
five miles and returning. The first deed ordered to be placed on record was 


made by Ebenezer Petty and Elizabeth, his wife, to Gabriel Friend, for 200 
acres. At this term of court the county was laid off into three assessor 
districts, as follows: 

John Haddan's District: — "From Simeon Harris' and Aaron Richard* 
son's up the Tygart River and with a straight line from Richardson's 
to Roaring Creek, up Roaring Creek to the head, thence to the Middle Fork 
to the head, thence to the Greenbrier line, 'the neardest direction;' from 
Harris' to the Rockingham line, 'the neardest direction:'" 

John Jackson's District: — " From John Haddan's line on Roaring Creek, 
down said creek to the Valley River,* thence in a straight line to where the 
road leading to Clarksburg crosses Laurel Run — the old pack road, called 
'Pringle's road' — thence with said road to the head of Clover Run, thence 
with the meanders of Laurel Hill to the county line." 

Cornelius Bogard's District: — "All of Randolph County not included in 
Haddan's and Jackson's districts." 

Matthew Whitman was the first deputy sheriff. He was appointed by 
the court at the request of the Sheriff. 

At the June term 1787, the earliest mention is found in the court records 
of the laying off of the town which is now Beverly. No name for the pro- 
posed town was given at that time, but the court "permitted " James West- 
fall to ' ' lay out lots for the purpose of a town, between the fence or lower 
end of his plantation, the river on the west, Benjamin Wilson's line on the 
north, and the county road on the east." The lots were to be ready for sale 
at the August court, 1787. That was three and a half years before the Act 
of the Assembly was passed for the incorporation of the town of Beverly. 

The court records for July, 1787, contain this item: "Ordered, that 
Charles Parsons be exempted from paying taxes on three head of horse 
creatures that have been taken from him by the Indians since the 9th of 
March last past." It was also stated that Henry Fink had lost five horses 
and John Warwick "several horses." The year 1787 was not one of special 
hostility on the part of the Indians. The Revolutionary War had closed 
and the British were no longer employing Indians, and the war of 1790 had 
not commenced. The Randolph Court Record shows, however, that if the 
Indians were not killing many people they at least were busy stealing 
horses. Indians usually did not care for domestic animals, but they made 
an exception of the horse, because they could ride him while he lived and 
eat him when he died. At that court occurred the first mention of a tramp. 
Nathan Nelson was committed to jail as a vagabond and was ordered to give 
bond for his good behavior. On the same day John Alford came into court 
and swore that he was afraid Joseph Parsons would do him a private injury. 
Thereupon Parsons was put under bond "to keep the peace of the world 
and especially John Alford." Jacob Westfall was "admitted to retail liquor 
till the November court, and no longer, without taking out license." That 
was the first liquor license in Randolph, but after a few years such licenses 
were issued by the score. The court fixed the price of all kinds of liquors 
ordinarly served over bars, and the shop-keepers who charged more 
were indicted. 

"The Monongahela River, like the Kanawha, has no common name from head to 
mouth. It should be called the Monongahela from Pittsburg to Mingo; but it has three 
names. From Pittsburg to the mouth of the West Pork it is Monongahela; from the 
mouth of West Fork to the gap in Laurel Hill below Elkins, it is the Valley River; from 
Laurel Hill to the source it is Tygart 's River, or Tygart 's Valley River. 


At the July court, 1787, provision was made for the first election in 
Randolph. The overseers of the poor were to be elected, and nothing else. 
The county was laid off into four districts. 

District 1, west of Rich Mountain, down to the Valley River, down the 
west side of the river to the county line. The territory between that line 
and Harrison county was the district, and John Jackson was appointed to 
conduct the election. 

District 2, that part of the county north-east of Rich Mountain and east 
of Valley River, including the Horse Shoe settlement from Wilmoth's set- 
tlement down. Salathiel Goff was appointed to conduct the election. 

District-3. The remainder of the county was "divided by a line due 
east from Rich Mountain, passing by William Wamsley's." North of the 
line was the third district and Robert Maxwell was appointed to hold the 

District 4 consisted of the remainder of the county, and Patrick Hamil- 
ton was appointed to hold the election. The Sheriff was ordered to oversee 
the elections and make returns at the September court. Returns were not 
made until November, and then in only two districts. In No. 2, William 
Westfall and David Minear were elected; in No. 3, Aaron Richardson, 
Thomas Philips and William Wilson. 

At this court Hugh Turner was ordered to draw plans and specifications 
for a jail, and the Sheriff was ordered to advertise for bids for building 
the jail. 

At the August court, 1787, the first grand jury was drawn. The names 
were: John Hamilton, Daniel Westfall, Valentine Stalnaker, Jacob Stal- 
naker. John Currence, Simeon Harris, Joseph Crouch, Charles Nelson, 
Solomon Ryan, Abraham Kittle, Thomas Philips, William Wilson, Charles 
Myers, Michael Isner, Nicholas Petro, Nicholas Wolf and Andrew Skidmore. 

Alexander Addison applied for license to practice law. He was licensed 
temporarily and was given one year in which to secure the recommendation 
of some county court, and if he did not secure such recommendation his 
license lapsed. The same order was made at that term in the case of Wil- 
liam McCleary. Lawyers must be recommended by a county court before 
they were admitted to practice; and deputy surveyors must pass an exam- 
ination before they were permitted to enter upon their duties. The County 
Surveyor and his deputies had much work to do, as calls for the survey of 
land entries were frequent. The principal surveyor must be licensed by 
the college of William and Mary in Virginia; but his deputies passed ex- 
aminations which were usually conducted by a committee appointed by the 
county court from its own members, and as they seldom knew anything of 
surveying, their questions must have been more formidable than technical. 
However, the applicant fared well; for, in the entire records of Randolph 
County there is not found one failure among the hundreds of applicants for 
deputy surveyor. 

Edward Hart was awarded the contract for building a jail, to be com- 
pleted in one month. The price is not now known. 

At the September Court, 1787, John Wilson was allowed 200 pounds of 
tobacco as pay for labor in collecting the land tax. The first county levy 
was laid at this court. It was a poll tax, and was laid on certain slaves as 
well as on white men. The rate was §1.04 per head. 

The first record of an insane person in the county is found in the pro- 
ceedings of that court. Philip and David Minear informed the court that 


their brother, John Minear, ' ' was crazy and had escaped into Monongalia 
County." They asked for authority to take charge of him and his estate. 
Their petition was granted. The Minears lived at St. G-eorge, in the pres- 
ent County of Tucker. 

Two indictments were found at that court — the first in the county. One 
was against Martin Brown and one against Silas Hadchesson, both for sell- 
ing liquor without license. No further mention of the cases is found in the 
records. Prom that date forward for fifty years or more there was, on an 
average, fifty indictments a year for selling liquor without license; and an 
examination of the records fails to show that there were, on an average, 
two convictions a year. Not one case in four ever came to trial, and the 
verdict was nearly always one of acquittal. The same statement applies to 
indictments for assault and battery in the early years of the county. In- 
dictments were numerous, trials few and convictions rare. Occasionally, 
however, when found guilty, a fine by no means light was imposed. 

At the March court, 1788, William McCleary was recommended to the 
Governor as a proper person for Judge of the District Court of Monongalia 
County. At this court the first indictment in the county for getting drunk 
was found. It was against Nathaniel Maddix. The first trial jury in the 
county was at that court, and found Joseph Donoho guilty and he was fined 
$1.72, but the nature of the charge against him is not stated. The names 
of the Jurors were: James Taffee, John Elliott, Samuel Pringle, William 
Blair, William Anthony, Smith Currence, George Rennix, Anthony Smith, 
William Parsons, William Smith, Henry Mace, Job Westfall, and Thomas 
Carney. ., 

Although the jail was ordered to be finished in one month from the 
letting of the contract, it was not done eleven months after, and the court 
ordered the Sheriff to collect $26.66|* to carry forward the work. 

In July, 1788, the court aimed a blow at idleness in these words: 
' ' Ordered, that a writ go forth to bring Grant Lambert before the next 
August court to show cause why he does not betake himself to lawful em- 
ployment and demean himself as required by the laws of this common- 
wealth. " There is no record to show what became of Grant Lambert. He 
probably betook himself to lawful employment, or took himself out of the 

About this time the grand juries commenced indicting the road over- 
seers for neglecting their work. Such indictments were numerous, some- 
times half the overseers of the county being on the list. Pew were found 
guilty, and the fines were never heavy, often only a few cents. Such in- 
dictments were found by the dozen at nearly every court where there was 
a jury during the first half century of the county, and they are by no means 
obsolete at the present day. 

In 1787 the Justices of the Peace drew up plans and specifications for 
a Court-House, and ordered the Sheriff to advertise for bids for building. 
The site selected was at the intersection of the streets at the corner of the 
present vacant square, and when the house was built it stood in the street, 
and a narrow alley passed on either side of it. But, although the plans 
were adopted in September, 1788, some time elapsed before the house was 

* Pounds, shillings and pence were used. They have been reduced to dollars and 
cunts in this book. In Virginia currency the pound was $3.33^-, the shilling 10s cents and 
the penny 1 7-lS cents. 


completed. Hugh Turner had the contract, and in February, 1789, he was 
paid $200. In April of the next year a minute in the court record states 
that the total cost should not exceed $100, and that the first story should be 
finished and "turned over" by April, 1791. Itwas a two-story structure. The 
jail which was ordered to be finished within one month, dragged along from 
1788 till April, 1790, when it was completed. In the meantime, or at least 
part of the time, the Sheriff kept his prisoners in his residence. As late as 
January, 1792, there were "timbers, scantlings and planks" provided for 
the construction of the Court-House, and on April 25 of that year, the con- 
tractor, Hugh Turner, gave up the job and the court ordered the contract 
re-let to the lowest bidder. Henry Hart's bid was $106. 66|, and he was 
awarded the contract. This was for completing the work left unfinished 
by Turner. Hart was slow, and in August, 1795, the court ordered Max- 
well Armstrong, the Commonwealth's Attorney, to bring suit against Hart's 
bondsmen, on account of his failure to complete the Court-House. In ' 
August, 1796, Hart promised to have the work done by the following 
November, and the suit against him and his bondsmen was let rest, to see 
what he would do. Plenty of time was given, and on July 23, 1798, a com- 
mittee was appointed by the court to ascertain whether Edward Hart had 
finished the Court-House according to contract. No explanation is given 
why Edward Hart was substituted for Henry Hart, the contractor. No 
report can be found, but inasmuch as no further mention is made of the 
matter it is inferred that the four hundred dollar Court-House had been 
finished after ten years of labor, and the failure of one contractor and prob- 
ably two. Steps were at once taken for building a stone jail, which never 
was built. Something, however, was still the matter with the Court-House, 
for on December 23, 1799, court was held at the house of William Marteney, 
in Beverly. In October, 1802, an order was made to pay "William Mar- 
teney $12 rent for the use of his house as a Court-House during the winter 
last past," and at the same time eight dollars were appropriated to buy 
"benches and a table for the Court-House and to repair the stocks." It is 
evident that the county had not received much benefit so far from its Court- 

In 1789 the Sheriff 's bond was $53,333. One of the first orders given the 
Sheriff after his appointment that year was that he call on Harrison County 
for the balance due Randolph. It is not stated for what that balance was 
due, nor how much it was, but it probably consisted of taxes collected by 
Harrison within the territory of Randolph before the formation of this 
county. The law provided, in certain cases, that the new county should 
receive a share of the revenue collected after the Act of the Legislature 
had passed creating the county, but before the county was organized. 

In those days the records of court proceedings were meager, so meager 
that it is often impossible to determine what was the charge or the issue in 
suits which passed to judgment. Following are examples, showing every- 
thing on record concerning the matters : 

"Jacob Stalnaker vs. William Blair; agreed." 

"John Wilson vs. Uriah Gandy: jury; the plaintiff must have the 

" The Commonwealth vs. Gabriel Powell; 3s." 

"William Gipson vs. William McCleary; improper." 

"John Haddan vs. David Lilly; two blankets instead of one." 

"James Taffee vs. William Bonner; next." 


"The Commonwealth vs. Charles Parsons; tree in the road." 

On April 27, 1789, Robert Maxwell gave notice that he had applied for 
a privilege of establishing a ferry across Leading Creek from his lands to 
those of Jonas Friend. At the same court Gabriel Powell was cited to ap- 
pear and give security that he would support his family, or show cause why 
he should not come under the vagrancy act. At the May court McCleary 
was removed from the office of Prosecuting Attorney, but no reason was 
assigned for it. He was subsequently employed occasionally to represent 
the county in court. After waiting a month for Gabriel Powell to appear, 
the court ordered that both he and his wife be "taken by Constable William 
Haddan to Constable David Minear, and that Minear convey them into 
Washington County, Maryland, and there leave them. " 

In 1789 David Lilly, who kept tavern in Beverly, was indicted "for sell- 
ing apple brandy above the legal rate." Five members of the grand jury 
which indicted him appeared as witnesses against him. There is nothing 
on the records to show what became of the case. 

In August of that year, 1789, occurs the first record in Randolph of 
an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.. The oath was 
taken by all the Justices of the Peace. The Constitution had lately been 
ratified. In September of that year the court issued a certificate to Jona- 
than Buffington, setting forth that he had lost a land warrant for 400 acres 
given to him for services in Colonel Gibson's regiment. The certificate ex- 
plains, "the warrant was taken from him by the Indians when he was 
captivated." Anthony Reger's tax for that year was not collected because 
Indians took his horse. 

At the March court, 1790, there was trouble among the Justices on the 
bench. One of them, Edward Jackson, went before the grand jury and 
gave information that his associate, Robert Maxwell, was drunk, and Max- 
well was indicted, and Jackson was likewise indicted for a similar offence. 
Maxwell was tried and acquitted, but Jackson confessed his guilt. Jacob 
Stalnaker was indicted "for swearing at the February court;" Jacob Faltner 
for conducting a lottery, and William Currence "for fighting the Sheriff." 
He was fined 16f cents. The next year Benjamin Hornbeck was indicted for 
carrying a grist to mill on Sunday, and the next year, 1791, almost every 
road overseer in the county was indicted for neglect of duty. In August of 
that year the name Beverly occurs on the court records for the first time. 

At that time it was lawful to imprison a man for debt. The creditor 
was required to pay all the expenses of the imprisonment. The debtor 
could take the bankrupt's oath and secure his release. He was not com- 
pelled to stay inside the jail, but was permitted to enjoy liberty within 
certain prescribed bounds, beyond which he must not go. In September, 
1791, the "prison bounds" in Beverly were fixed: "Beginning at the lower 
corner of Edward Hart's lot on Front street, opposite the lot next above 
the lot whereon the Court-House is; thence down to the lot Hart's carpen- 
ter shop is on, by the spring; thence down with the lower line of the town 
to the lower end thereof; thence up to Front street, and thence to the be- 
ginning." Subsequently the "prison bounds" were extended to include the 
whole of Beverly. 

In 1792 the court appointed a committee to examine the falls in the 
Valley River, in the present county of Taylor, to ascertain whether they 
could be improved so that fish could come up the river. Harrison County 
was asked to assist in the improvement. Nothing was done. 


In 1794 the Sheriff advertised for bids for building stocks and a pillory 
in Beverly. These things were considered essential. Among the indict- 
. ments that year were these: St. Leger Stout for "suffering cardplaying in 
his house;" Edward Hart, the same; John Shultz "for carrying corn meal 
on Sunday;" Samuel Bringham for "profane swearing." Jacob Westfall 
was granted permission "to erect a grist mill next to the town of Beverly." 
In November, 1794, the words "dollar" and "cent" occur for the first time 
in the court records of Randolph. Pounds, shillings and pence gradually 
went out of use after that date. The Sheriff was paid in "dollars" for tak- 
ing two horse thieves to Bath County. In 1795 Edward Combs was put in 
the stocks five minutes for contempt of court. Three years later St. Leger 
Stout was adjudged guilty of contempt and was ordered to the stocks five 
minutes. This order was partly scratched off the book and one was sub- 
stituted stating that Stout was fined $20 and was required to give bond to 
keep the peace one year. At the same time William Briggs, "Richard 
Reeder, William Westfall and Jacob Wees were fined two dollars each for 
not assisting the Sheriff to arrest Stout when called upon to do so. These 
fragmentary records give us a glimpse of a lively court day, with Stout on 
the warpath, defying the Sheriff, and citizens refusing to assist the officer 
to restore order The next month peace had been restored and all the fines 
were ordered remitted. 

In 1796 another tramp case was on the docket, and all the constables in 
the county were ordered to take part in catching him and floating him 
"from constable to constable until he shall be moved beyond the county 
line the way he came." His name was John Gilberts, and fifteen days were 
allowed to consummate his banishment. 

In 1795 the County Seal was affixed to six instruments, at one dollar 
each, of which 95 cents went to the State. The next year the seal was 
affixed to eight instruments. During the ten or twelve years from 1789, the 
records of the county were made by Robert Maxwell, deputy clerk. 

Early in 1798 there was a smallpox scare in Randolph. The court met 
in special session to take measures, but adjourned without doing anything. 
All the Justices in the county were summoned to meet February 26, but they 
did nothing, so far as the records show, to check the spread of the epidemic. 

Nicholas Marsteller was appointed Master of Brands and Measures. 
Under the law, correct weights and measures, such as scales, yardsticks, 
pecks, and others of a like kind, were ordered to be provided and kept by 
the county; and all weights and measures brought into the county must be 
inspected before being used. 

There were 32 delinquent taxpayers in Randolph in 1797, and 26 the 
next year, and 30 in 1802. In 1800 the first conviction for ' 'profane swear- 
ing" was placed on record. Henry Mace was fined 33 cents for that offense. 
But, once a conviction was secured, others followed, and at the same court 
a fine of 33 cents each was imposed upon Joseph Friend and Thomas Wil- 
moth for swearing. 

In March, 1803, Samuel Pringle was a witness at the Beverly court and 
was paid for traveling thirty miles, from Harrison county. This was evi- 
dently the same Pringle who deserted from Fort Pitt in 1761, and who took 
up his residence in the present county of Upshur in 1765. His name is met 
several times in the early records of Randolph, but not later than 1803. 

At the May court, 1803, a series of unusual indictments were found, 
were subsequently tried and in some of them convictions were secured and 


fines of a few cents were imposed. The indictments were ' 'for not giving 
or offering to give their votes for a member of Congress and two members 
of the General Assembly of the State." The persons indicted were Andrew 
Miller, Charles Myers, Daniel Hart, Elijah Rollins, Ebenezer Flanagan, 
Charles Boyles, Henry Jackson, Jacob Nestor, Joseph Joseph, John Hill, 
John Sanders, John Barker, John Barnhouse, Isaac Parsons, Martin Miller, 
Thomas Cade, William Anglin, William Howell, Terah Osbom, John Had- 
dan and William Wilson. Times have changed. Men are now sometimes in- 
dicted for voting too much; formerly they were indicted for not voting 
enough. The next year Abraham Springstone was indicted, found guilty, 
and was fined "85 cents each" for "swearing five several prophane oaths." 
The next year another pillory and new stocks were built. 

Persons charged with felony were given preliminary trials, and if 
deemed guilty, they were sent for trial to the district court, sometimes to 
Morgantown, sometimes to Moorefield and sometimes to Clarksburg. 

The first foreigner naturalized in Randolph County was William Bock, 
1806; the second was Samuel Nearbeck, 1824. In 1806 there were only 
two voting places in Randolph for electing overseers of the poor, one at 
Beverly, the other at John Philips' house on Clady Creek, in the present 
county of Barbour. There were 41 delinquent taxpayers in the county 
in 1806. 

Randolph had bad luck with its log Court-House, begun 1788 and finished 
some ten years later. It never fulfilled exjDectations, and it was not used 
after 1803. From that date till 1808 court was held in the house of John 
Wilson, and in 1808, at the house of Nicholas Gibson, in Beverly. On 
March 29 of that year all the Justices in the county were called together to 
take steps toward building a new Court-House and jail. The old jail had 
utterly failed. In June of that year Jonathan Hutton, Samuel Ball, and 
Matthew Whitman were appointed a committee to contract for building a 
Court-House, jail and clerk's office. The specifications for the Court-House 
were as follows: "The front to be thirty feet wide; forming a circle in the 
back part; underpinned with stones; walls of brick; first story 12 feet 
high; second story eight feet high; the clerk's office 15 feet square, ad- 
joining the southwest end of the Court-House, built of brick; all covered 
with joint shingles; lower floor of office to be laid with brick." That was 
the beginning of the the old Court-House which is still standing and in use. 
Several changes were made in the plan before it was completed. In 1809 
the old county buildings were appraised at $402. 50. The length of the new 
building was increased to 36 feet. In 1810 the sum of $828.50 was appro- 
priated for building purposes. The next year, 1811, court was held in the 
house of Ely Butcher, in Beverly. In 1813 the further sum of $400 was 
appropriated for building the Court-House, and at the same time specifica- 
tions for a jail, to be completed within a year, were adopted, and the build- 
ing contract was awarded William Marteney and William Steers. The 
foundations must be four feet under ground. The next year the con- 
tractors were paid $250 on the jail contract, and Solomon Collett was paid 
$35.50 for hinges and other irons for the Court-House, and these are still 
in use. In January, 1815, the Court-House was not yet finished, and a 
second story was ordered put on the jail. The upjier story was for debtors. 
No date can be discovered at which the Court-House was occupied by the 
court, but probably it was early in 1815. The County Clerk's office was 
not built till 1838. 


Among the numerous indictments in 1811 for Sabbath breaking, neglect 
of roads, fighting and other greater or lesser offenses, was one against 
Samuel Bingham, expressed in unique and unpunctuated phraseology as 
follows: "For provanely swearing one oath to wit by god within two 
months last past a true bill." In 1816 Abraham Longaker was fined $30 for 
selling half a pint of rum without license, and Peter Robinson was fined 
$2.50 for breaking a jail window. The next year Benjamin Hornbeck was 
fined $5 "for failing to keep still." 

At the October court, 1819, Ely Butcher, Godfrey Hiller and Archi- 
bald Earle were ' 'appointed commissioners to contract for filling up the 
Court-House with gravel. " There is no explanation of what this means, 
but probably the intention was that the low places in the Court-House 
yard, and not the building itself, should be filled with gravel. 

In 1820 there was another racket in court. The minute reads: "Or- 
dered that Robert Furguson be fined $1.66 cents for swearing two oaths in 
the presence of the court, " and immediately following is another: ' 'Ordered 
that Robert Ferguson be fined $20 for contempt of court and that he be 
imprisoned until he pay the fine. " It is presumable that the first fine pro- 
voked Mr. Ferguson to commit the second, offense. The court records do 
not give the conclusion, but it is a matter of tradition that a few minutes 
after he was put in jail he walked into the court-room, bringing with him 
the iron bars which had barricaded the window. He was a blacksmith, and 
had put the bars in the window, and knowing the manner of their 
fastenings, he had easily taken them out.* 

As late as 1821 the jail was not yet done, having dragged along since 
1813. The building yet stands just north of the public square. When 
the movement began in 1813 for a new jail it was the purpose to put it in 
the public square, but Adam Myers, who owned the old hotel (still stand- 
ing) on the east side of the square, objected, because a jail in front of his 
hotel would injure his property. Therefore he offered to deed the county 
a lot just north of the square for a jail, provided the court would agree to 
put no building on the square in front of his tavern. The agreement being 
satisfactory, the following minute was entered of record November 24, 
1813: "Ordered that William Martney and William Steers be appointed 
commissioners to contract with Adam Myers for land to build a jail on, and 
to enter into an agreement with said Myers that the public will put no 
building on the public square, unoccupied, opposite said Myers' house, but 
it to remain for the use of the public." Myers gave the lot, and from that 
day to this the public square has remained vacant, and it must remain 
vacant forever under the laws of this country. Three-quarters of a cen- 

*Kobert Ferguson was a soldier in the war of 1812. It is said that once when rations 
were scarce in camp the soldiers raided a farmer's henhouse. Ferguson plucked his 
rooster as he walked along until in front of the Colonel's tent where he wrung the 
fowl's head off, left the head and the feathers there, and went to his own tent and 
cooked the chicken. The next morning the irate farmer tracked the feathers to the 
Colonel's tent, found the head there, and created an uproar by boisterously charging the 
officer with chicken stealing. The Colonel emphatically denied it, but when shown the 
evidence in front of his tent, he said he must have done it in his sleep, as he could not 
remember it. Another night the soldiers visited a potato patch. Ferguson filled his 
pockets first, and then roared at the top of his voice: "Come up here, boys; the closer 
the house the bigger the taters." This, of course, apprised the farmer of the situation, 
and out he came, and the soldiers skedaddled with empty pockets. Ferguson alone had 
potatoes for breakfast next morning. 


tury afterwards the county court undertook to sell the square, but could 
not do so. The supreme court decided that the county, by that order in 
1813, had dedicated the square to the use of the public, and it must per- 
petually remain for the use of the public. 

In 1826 a special court was called for the purpose of ' 'putting a cupola 
on the Court-House and buying a bell." That bell remained on the building 
nearly seventy years, was then transferred to the new Court-House, and 
when that building was burned, the bell was broken in the fall. 

In 1827 ten indictments were found for horse racing, and fines were 
imposed in every case. 

In case the Justices present and holding court could not decide a ques- 
tion by reason of a tie vote, the Sheriff could cast the deciding vote. 

In 1841 the county court appropriated $1000 for building a new jail, 
and called for bids, ordering the call published two months "in some news- 
paper published at Clarksburg." That was the first mention of a news- 
paper in the Randolph records. The commissioners to build the jail were 
Charles C. See, David Goff and Lemuel Chenoweth. The jail was to be 
finished in two years. The contractors were William T. Clark and 
Alexander K. Hollaway, and the price $4479. 

In 1844 the old jail was sold to David Blackman for $425, and in 1845 
the new jail was finished. It is the one still in use. 

The first vote by the court in the county, whether liquor license should 
be issued, was taken in June, 185G, and resulted in 12 for license and 11 

In March, 1885, the County Court appointed J. P. Harding and L. D. 
Strader commissioners to ascertain the practicability of buying ground and 
building a Court-House. In March, 1889, L. D. Strader, Thomas P. R. 
Brown and Leland Kittle were named as commissioners to communicate 
with architects in regard to a plan for a building to cost $10,000 or $12,000. 
In the January following, E. W. Wells, of Wheeling, an architect, was em- 
ployed to prepare preliminary plans for the Court-House. ' On July 3, 1890, 
a petition, signed by 948 persons, was filed asking for an election to vote on 
the proposition to move the county seat from Beverly to Elkins. On the 
same day an order was passed by the court submitting to a vote the pro- 
position of bonding the county for $25,000 to build the Court-House. The 
election occured in November of that year, and the vote stood, for bonds 
614, against bonds 1292. In July, 1892, Murray Brothers were the lowest 
bidders, at $18,943.50, for building the Court House, and were awarded the 
contract. The building was completed in April, 1894, and on May 20, 1897, 
it was accidently burned. The court was held May 26, 1897, in the lower 
room of the Masonic Lodge Building, and on June 17, the records were 
moved into the old Court-House, and steps were taken to erect a new build- 
ing. No books were destroyed in the fire, but many files of old papers were 
burned. Two elections were held for the purpose of removing the Court- 
House to Elkins, in both of them the decision was in favor of Beverly. In 
1898 another election was ordered to vote on the same question. 


The first record of a Circuit or Superior Court for Randolph dates back 
to May, 1809. Judge Hugh Nelson of the Eleventh Circuit was on the bench. 
The first suit tried was that of William Tingle, Clerk of the Monongalia 
District Court against Samuel Bonnifield, ex-Sheriff of Randolph, for the 


collection of fees. The minute says: "The defendant appeared in court 
and said he cannot gainsay the plaintiff's motion against him for $9. 41, and 
judgment was given for the plaintiff." 

In 1817 Judge Daniel Smith was on the bench. Indictments were found 
in the circuit court as well as in the county court, and their jurisdiction 
was concurrent in many things. Both had trial juries, but felonies were 
not tried in the county court. It was customary in Judge Smith's court to 
fine a witness for failure to attend when summoned, and the amount was 
uniformly eight dollars, assessed in his absence, and the witness was then 
cited to show cause, if he could, why the fine should not be collected. It 
was seldom collected. Following is the style of bond usually given in a 
civil suit. It was given in 1818 in the case of Thomas Bland against Ben- 
jamin Marsh. 

"Solomon Parsons, of this county, who having qualified to his sufficiency, came into 
court and and undertook for the defendant that in case he should be cast in this suit, 
that he would pay and satisfy the condemnation of the court, or render his body to prison 
in execution for the same, or that he, the said Solomon Parsons, would do it for him." 

In 1819 Solomon Parsons was found guilty of assault and battery and 
was fined one cent. In 1820 all the Justices of the county were cited to ap- 
pear and show cause why they should not be fined for failing to provide a 
sufficient jail. The record does not show what excuse the Justices offered, 
or whether any of them were fined. Road overseers were seldom fined by 
the county court for neglecting their roads, but when they fell into the 
hands of the circuit court the fine was usually $10. 

In 1822 an important case was disposed of by a brief order, thus : ' 'John 
Howard, schoolmaster, late of the county of Randolph, who stands indicted 
for forgery, and thereof arraigned, and pleaded not guilty, and for tryall 
put himself upon God and the country, was found guilty, sentenced one 
year in the penitentiary prison house, with two months in solitary confine- 
ment on low and coarse diet." 

It was the intention to have both a spring and a fall term, but one or 
the other was usually omitted. In 1827 there were twenty indictments for 
unlawful horse-racing. In 1830 the new constitution took effect. The first 
Judge after that was Edwin S. Duncan, of the Eighteenth Circuit. In 1835 
the venerable clerk, Archibald Earle, was cited to appear in court to show 
cause why he should not be fined for failing "for a whole year to fix up a 
list of road overseers." His excuse was apparently satisfactory, as he was 
not fined. In 1843 John S. Carlile, the politician, was indicted for unlaw- 
ful practice as an attorney. The specific charge is not stated. The case 
was dismissed. 

Randolph County has held court in twelve houses, and has had two 
county seats, as follows: 

First county seat, 1787, four miles below Beverly. 

Second county seat, from 1787 till the present, Beverly. 

First Court-House, 1787, at Benjamin Wilson's. 

Second Court-House, 1787, at James Westfall's, in Beverly. 

Third Court-House, completed 1798, in Beverly. 

Fourth Court-House, 1799, William Marteney's residence, Beverly. 

Fifth Court-House, 1804, John Wilson's house, Beverly. 

Sixth Court-House, 1808, Nicholas Gibson's house, Beverly. 

Seventh Court-House, 1811, Ely Butcher's residence, Beverly. 

Eighth Court-House, completed 1815, still standing, Beverly. 


Ninth Court-House, 1864, Lucinda Leonard's house, Beverly. 
Tenth Court-House, 1865, David Blackman's storehouse, Beverly. 
Eleventh Court-House, completed 189-4, burned 1897, Beverly. 
Twelfth Court House, 1897, Masonic Lodge Building, Beverly. 


The burning of many old files of papers with the Court-House in 1897 
no doubt destroyed numerous valuable scraps of history relating to early 
Indian troubles as well as the Civil War. All through the books in the 
clerk's office, for a hundred years, events are alluded to, but seldom 
described, which would be interesting if we had them. Pull particulars, in 
most cases, were tiled as papers and documents and were' not recorded in 
the ledgers. Particularly was this so with regard to the claims of several 
Revolutionary soldiers who afterwards received pensions. Reports were 
made, setting forth their services, and these papers are lost beyond recov- 
ery. The same is true in a lesser degree of the Civil War, but other sources 
of information are open, and the loss is not so severely felt. In the para- 
graphs which follow fragmentary items and incidents will be given, as they 
can be gleaned from the books, from the organization of the county, in 1787, 
till the close of the Civil War. 

In 1789 the Sheriff was ordered, "for the time being, to pay to William 
Blair, pensioner, resident in the county, forty pounds, his pension for the 
years 1786 to 1789." He was most probably a Revolutionary soldier who 
drew a pension because of injuries. 

On April 29, 1789, Philip Washburn was appointed administrator of the 
estate of Jonathan Minear. This seemingly unimportant record perhaps 
has more historical value than at first appears. Jonathan Minear and 
Philip Washburn, brothers-in-law, owned land two miles below St. George, 
in the present County of Tucker. One morning, very early in the spring, 
they were waylaid by Indians and Minear was killed and Washburn was 
taken prisoner, but was rescued a few days later. The date of the occur- 
rence is in doubt, but it has been supposed to have happened in 1780. The 
Randolph z-ecord renders it highly probably that the date was 1789. It is 
likely that Minear's estate, which was considerable, would have been placed 
in charge of an administrator as soon as possible. If the murder took place 
in March, as tradition has it, the time till April 29 would be about sufficient 
to take the necessary steps *f or the appointment of an administrator. 

On March 27, 1790, the court "ordered that Thomas Price, an old sol- 
dier who was wounded at the Battle of the Point, * under the command of 
Colonel Lewis, in the command of Captain John Lewis, f of Augusta, be 
recommended to the executive as a proper object of public charity and that 
a pension ought to allowed him of five pounds." 

Prom an order in the court record, June, 1793, it is learned that Jacob 
Westfall, who was appointed County Lieutenant in 1787, had called a num- 
ber of scouts into the field in 1790, to watch Indian paths leading to the 
settlement in Randolph. Westfall subsequently removed to Kentucky, 
leaving no one to certify the claims of the scouts when they applied for 
their pay. This fact was stated by the court in a memorial to the secre- 
tary of war. The names of the scouts do not appear on the record. They 

*Poi nt Pleasant, October 10, 1774. 

tSon of Colonel William Lewis. See Waddell's "Annals of Augusta County," p. 135. 


were probably on a separate paper, lost when the Court-House was burned. 

In November, 1811, "William Howell came into court and made oath 
that Michael Howell never received any compensation in land for his 
services while a soldier under Colonel Murtenberger in the Revolutionary 

In May, 1818, the court passed an order exempting from paying county 
taxes, and recommending for pensions the following Revolutionary soldiers, 
who had ' ' served against the common enemy :" John Stuller, Samuel Bonni- 
field, William Shreve, Elias Alexander, Daniel Canfield, and Abraham 
Burner. In 1822 Shreve was declared insolvent. He "belonged to the 
Virginia .line. " 

In 1822 Archibald Earle, Colonel of the 107th Regiment, was paid $90 
for furnishing "three stands of colors." 

In 1825 "Samuel Girty was sent to jail for contempt of court for coming 
into court drunk. " It cannot be ascertained whether he was a relative of 
the notorious Simon Girty, who joined the Indians. It is not improbable 
that he was. 

In 1828, ' 'Daniel Canfield, a soldier nine months in the Revolution, 
renewed his application for a pension, and gave in his property at $57.75." 
In 1833 Thomas Isner applied for a pension on the ground that he was an 
Indian spy in the Revolutionary War. In 1833 similar claims were made 
by Valentine Stalnaker and Jacob Stalnaker.. Claims as Revolutionary 
soldiers were made by John Ryan, Matthew Whitman, James Holder and 
Jacob Lesher. 

Randolph must have furnished a considerable number of soldiers for 
the war of 1812, but the records show but few. Michael Wees, who was in 
Captain William Booth's company, Second Virginia Militia, was discharged 
at Port Meigs, in Ohio, in 1813, and died May 10, just after reaching home. 
He was sick when discharged. Levi Ward was Ensign in Captain Booth's 
Company. He was drafted in Randolph for six months. Mention of other 
soldiers of the war will be found in this book. The present chapter aims 
only to give such as are mentioned in the court records. 

As troubles leading to the Civil War thickened, mention of them begins 
to appear in the court records. In April, 1859, Archibald Earle was 
appointed Captain of Patrols to keep watch that there was no unlawful 
assemblage oi slaves. His assistants were Morgan Kittle, Judson L. 
Suiter, Creed Earle, William H. Keesey, Wm. C. Chenoweth, Thomas R. 
Rummell, Parkison Collett, Jacob Suiter, Adam C. Rowan, Alpheus Buckey, 
Andrew J. Collett, Squire N. Bosworth, and Owen W. Rummell. 

On June 24, 1861, seventeen days before the battle of Rich Mountain, 
the following minute appears on the record of the county court: 

"Ordered that the sum of $5000 be appropriated for the equipment of any volunteer 
companies that may be hereafter raised in this county, which any subsequent court of 
this county may by its order authorize to be borrowed on the faith of the county; and 
when so borrowed the payment thereof shall be provided for by levy hereafter to be 

There was no court from June, 1861, till February, 1862. At the meet- 
ing of the court at the latter date, the clerk was ordered to take the books 
to his own house for safe keeping. In March, 1862, Hoy McLean was ap- 
pointed to take charge of the public buildings, and to make out an account 
against the United States government for damages done to the buildings by 
the Union troops who occupied them. In April, 1862, an election was 


called for choosing a Sheriff. Governor Pierpont had declared the 
office vacant. Jesse P. Phares was made Sheriff. In June of that year 
this entry occurs: "Ordered, that the Sheriff shall not pay any money to 
any officer prohibited by any Act of the General Assembly passed at Wheel- 
ing, since the first day of January, 1861." The county records were taken 
to Buchannon, but when and by whose order does not appear. In August 
1862, the court ordered "that the deed books and the will books of this 
office remain in Buchannon until further orders by this court. " In Septem- 
ber following they were ordered to be brought back to Beverly. The last 
county court during the war was held in March, 1863, Another was not 
held till November, 13, 1865. In April, 1863, occurred Imboden's raid, and the 
records of Randolph were carried away to Brownsburg, Rockbridge County, 

i Virginia, where they remained till the close of the war. They were taken 
> | irom Beverly by Squire N. Bosworth, deputy clerk, and were hauled in a 

Cl wagon drawn by two horses and a yoke of cattle. 

After the county books were carried to Rockbridge County, there was 
no circuit court held till September 28, 1863. Judge Robert Irvine was 
then on the bench, and John B. Earle was clerk. The first lawyers in 
-- Randolph County to take the oath after West Virginia became a State were 
— ■ ■- Spencer Dayton and Nathan H. Taft. In March, 1864, the jail of Taylor 
County was designated as the jail of Randolph. What was known as the 
"Test Oath" was as follows: 

"I do solmenly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and 
of this State; that I have never voluntarily borne arms against the United States; that 
I have voluntarily given no aid or comfort to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto, 
by countenancing, counseling, or encouraging them in the same; that I have not sought, 
accepted or attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatever, under any 
authorty in hostility to the United States; that I have not yielded a voluntary support 
to any pretended Government, Authority, Power, or Constitution within the United 
States, hostile or inimical thereto; and that I take this obligation freely, without mental 
reservation or purpose of evasion." 

In Deed Book No. 23, for the year 1863, is recorded a letter from General 
Milroy. No explanation is given for entering the letter on the records of 
the county; but the contents of the letter render it probable that the bonds 
to which it alludes had not yet been recovered, and the letter was intended 
to assist in identifying them, should they be found. The handwriting of 
General Milroy was certified to by George R Latham and Henry C. Plesher. 
A copy of the letter is as follows: 

"Headquaetees, Mileoy's Division, ) 
Winchestee, Ya., Feb. 20, 1863. j 

"Captain William G. George: 

"Dear Sir: — You will remember that while at Huttonsville two trunks were 
captured and brought into headquarters that had belonged to Dr. James Jones who was 
alleged to have went off with the Rebel army, and that among other papers found in one 
of these trunks were two bonds of $1,000 each, in favor of said Jones. Upon my return 
to West Virginia last fall, I found Dr. Jones at Buckhannon, and learned that he had 
been in the vicinity of that place for some time with his family. He took the oath of 
allegiance to the United States, and stated that he was forced to go away with the Rebels, 
and returned as soon as he could get away from them. I was convinced upon inquiry 
that his property was not subject to confiscation for disloyalty, and directed that all his 
property should be returned, as far as possible. I understood that the two bonds above 
referred to were placed in the hands of Frank Phares, United States Deputy Marshall, 
and gave the doctor an order on Frank for them. But I received a letter from him a few 
days ago stating that he had called on Phares a few clays ago for the bonds, and was in- 



formed by him that he had never had them, and told him that they were still in your 
possession. If so, send them to his order. If not, let him know where they are, if you 
know. This will be forwarded to you by Dr. Jones himself. 

"Your Friend Truly, 

"K. H. Milkot, Brig. Gen'" 

At the present time the courts pay no attention to military affairs, but 
early in the county's history and until the close of the Civil War there was 
frequent mention of soldiers, officers and military proceedings. There were 
courts held for the sole purpose of providing for the country's defense. 
Military officers were appointed the same as civil officers. The militia 
had regular times for mustering, and there were fines for non- 
attendance, and those fines were collected the same as taxes. There are 
gaps in these military records. Several books are missing, if they were 
ever kept in this county. They may have been kept in some other county 
for part of the time, for military affairs were not exclusively county busi- 
ness. The militia records for Tucker County are found only in Randolph. 
The military officers of Randolph, are given below, so far as the records 
show them: 


Patrick Hamilton 1787 

William Lowther 1796 

Archibald Earle 1822 

Robert N. Ball 1827 

Solomon Wyatt 1831 

Jacob Keller 1837 

David Goff 1844- 

John W. Crawford 1850 

Hoy McLean 1853 

Melvin Currence 1860 

Cyrus Kittle 1862 


Edward Jackson 1787 

James Westf all 1787 

Peter Cassity 1787 

William Wilson 1787 

George Westfall 1787 

Jonathan Parsons 1787 

John Jackson 1789 

Jacob Kittle 1794 

John Ckenoweth 1794 

John Haddan 1795 

William Parsons 1796 

George Rennix 1798 

Adam See 1800 

Matthew Whitman 1800 

Samuel Ball 1802 

Benjamin Vannoy 1805 

John Crouch 1805 

John Currence 1805 

Nicholas Gibson 1806 

John Forrest 1807 

William Booth 1807 

Anthony Huff 1807 

Andrew Friend 1807 

John Wood 1808 

Thomas Butcher 1810 

William Stalnaker 1810 

Thompson Elza 1844 

Benjamin Kittle 1844 

Bushrod W. Crawford 1844 

Jacob Conrad 1844 

Daniel W. Shurtliff 1844 

Elijah M. Hart 1844 

John M. Crouch 1844 

Wyatt Ferguson 1844 

Hamilton Skidmore 1845 

Andrew Stalnaker 1845 

Hoy McLean 1846 

Henry Rader 1846 

George W. Berlin ."..... 1848 

George Kuykendall 1848 

Jesse L. Roy 1850 

Cyrus Chenoweth 1850 

'-Cyrus Kittle 1851 

Washington Salsberry 1851 

William C. Chenoweth 1851 

Michael Yokum 1851 

James L. Hathaway 1851 

Heckman Chenoweth 1851 

Abraham Hinkle 1852 

Aaron Bell 1852 

Allen Taylor 1852 

Jacob Shafer 1852 



Solomon Collett 1812 

George Anderson 1816 

Solomon Yeager 1817 

Samuel Oliver 1818 

Adonijah Ward 1818 

Thomas W. Holder 1823 

George McLean 1827 

Charles C. See 1828 

Solomon Parsons 1828 

Arnold Bonnifleld 1829 

Solomon Wyatt 1829 

William McCord 1830 

Charles Crouch 1852 

Jacob Currence 1860 

William E. Logan 1860 

Sampson Elza 1860 

George W. Mills 1860 

L. Phillips 1860 

William Westf all 1860 

George A. Hesler 1860 

Arnold Phillips 1860 

J. S. Collett 1860 

John Rice 1860 


Jacob Westf all 1787 

John Jackson 1787 

John Haddan 1787 

James Kittle 1787 

Matthew Whitman 1787 

Daniel Booth 1787 

William Parsons 1787 

George Rennix 1797 

Asahel Heath 1799 

John Crouch 1800 

Nicholas Gibson 1805 

John Baker 1805 

James Frame 1807 

William Johnson 1807 

William Currence 1807 

Thomas Skidmore 1810 

Robert W. Collins 1810 

William Bennett 1813 

Robert Chenoweth 1814 

Jesse Phillips 1815 

James Wells 1818 

Arnold Bonnifleld 1828 

Nathan Minear 1829 

Solomon Wyatt 1829 

Isaac Canfleld 1843 

Jesse Roy 1843 

Jacob Flanagan 1843 

Levi Stalnaker 1844 

Levi D. Ward 1844 

William G. Wilson 1844 

John Bright 1844 

Jacob W. Manthus 1841 

Jeremiah D. Channel 1844 

Isaac C. Stalnaker 1844 

Vincent Pennington 1844 

Cyrus Kittle . 1844 

Samuel South 1844 

Everet Chenoweth 1844 

Conrad Currence 1852 

Nathaniel Moss 1852 

George W. Long 1852 

Hull Ward 1853 

Jacob Long 1853 

William E. Long 1853 

Simeon Philips 1853 

Robert Philips 1853 

Thomas T. Talbott 1853 

James W. Miller 1853 

John M. Stalnaker 1853 

Hugh S. Hart 1853 

George Little 1853 

Randolph Coberly 1853 

Dolbeare Kelly 1853 

Ezra P. Hart 1853 

Arnold Wilmont 1853 

John Wyatt 1853 

Jacob Currence 1853 

Charles Channel 1853 

William E. Logan 1853 

Sampson Salsberry 1853 

Samuel Channel 1853 

L. Denton 1860 

L. Phillips 1860 

William M. Westf all 1860 

Abraham Smith 1860 

John W. Bradley 1862 

Andrew C. Currence 1862 

James Scott 1862 

Patrick King 1862 

William Bennett 1862 

Jacob W. Fortney 1862 

Alvin Osburn 1862 

J. M. Westfall 1862 

Solomon P. Stalnaker 1862 

Squire B. Daniels 1862 

Harrison Moore 1862 



Samuel P. Wilson 1844 

Elam B. Bosworth 1844 

George W. Rennix 1846 

Washington Stalnaker 1848 

John Phares 1849 

Cyrus Chenoweth 1850 

Archibald E. Harper 1862 

John G. Bradley 1862 

William S. Phares 1862 

Alfred Stalnaker 1862 

Aaron Workman 1866 

Riley Pritt 1866 


John Wilson 1787 

James Westfall 1794 

William Wilson 1794 

John Haddan 1800 

Isaac Booth 1805 

Matthew Whitman 1805 

John Crouch 1805 

David Holder 1820 

Henry Sturm 1831 

John C. Wamsley 1843 

Benjamin Kittle 1849 

Patrick Crickard 1860 

Archibald Earle 1860 

John M. Crouch 1862 


John Outright 1787 

Jacob Westfall -. 1787 

Anthony Smith 1787 

George Rennix 1787 

Job Westfall 1787 

Jeremiah Cooper 1787 

William Seymour 1796 

Samuel Ball 1796 

George Kittle 1796 

James Booth 1798 

Barthan Hoskins 1802 

John Stalnaker 1805 

Thomas Williams 1805 

James Tygart 1806 

John J. Harrison 1807 

William Huff 1807 

Thomas Skidmore 1807 

Jacob Pickle 1807 

Solomon Yeager 1815 

Aaron Gould 1818 

Job Parsons 1818 

Nathan Minear 1828 

Isaac D. Neville 1829 

William W. Chapman 1829 

Jesse Vannoy 1830 


It would be very difficult to write a complete history of the building 
and maintenance of the highways of Randolph County, and if done, it 
would prove dry and uninteresting. There is however, entertaining ma- 
terial for a few pages, relating chiefly to the beginning of road making in 
the county. No effort has been made to mention, even by name or location, 
all the early roads, nor any considerable number of the later ones. When 
the first permanent settlement was planted in Randolph County, about 1772, 
the first need of the settlers was means of communication with other set- 
tlements. These settlements were to be found east of the Alleghanies, east 
and southeast; on the Greenbrier, south; on the Buckhannon, west and 
northwest; at Morgan town, north, and on Cheat River, at the Horse Shoe, 
northeast. The first roads across the county's borders, or to the remote 
parts of the county, led to the settlements named. Other roads were made 
from settlement to settlement within Tygart's Valley, or nearby valleys. 
It is remarkable that the very first mention of a highway on the court 
records of the county was regarding a wagon road. It generally has been 
presumed that wagon roads were not needed at that time. The order was 
made May 29, 1787, (Randolph's very first court, second day's session) that 
Joseph Friend, William Wilson, Salathiel Goff, and Andrew Skidmore be 
appointed to view and mark the way for a wagon road from Leading Creek 
to the Horse Shoe Bottom, on Cheat River, in the present county of Tucker. 


This has an historical importance, establishing the fact that wagons were 
in use in Tygart's Valley, and probably at the Horse Shoe, as early as 1789; 
for it is evident that no steps would have been taken to build a wagon 
road unless there were wagons to use it. The statement has been made,* 
and has long gone uncontradicted, that the first wagon loaded with mer- 
chandise reached the Monongahela in 1789. That was in Pennsylvania. The 
evidence seems conclusive that wagons were in Randolph at that time. 
Whether they came loaded with merchandise, or by what roads they came, 
or whether they were made within the county, is not known. They did 
not come from the South Branch into the southern end of the county, for 
not until about 1826 were wagons able to cross the mountains from that 
direction. It is not improbable that the irons were carried into the 
county on pack horses and that the wagons were made here, f 

At the time the wagon road to Horse Shoe Bottom was ordered surveyed, 
the court appointed John Warwick, JohnHaddan, John Hamilton and Thomas 
Lackey to view a bridle path from Connolly's Lick to the top of the Alle- 
ghanies in Pendleton County; and established a trail from Jonas Friend's, 
near Leading Creek, to Anglin's Ford, near Phillipi. The surveyor of 
the path was William Smith. Uriah Gandy was ordered to survey a path 
from Benjamin Wilson's to the top of the Alleghanies, probably near the 
head of Senaca. Charles Parsons, Anthony Smith, Matthew Whitman and 
Samuel Pringle were ordered to survey a path from Beverly to John Jack- 
son's, on Buckhannon River. A road was ordered from Thomas Wilmoth's 
down Cheat River to the county line, and William Parsons was appointed 

Those trails, or "bridle roads," as they were called, were intended only 
for footmen or horses. Little or no grading was done. They were "brushed 
out," as the term was then used. That is, the brush and the logs were cut 
out where necessary. The fact that these roads were ordered surveyed 
must not be taken as proof that they were at once made. Years some- 
times elapsed before their comrdetion, and some were never made. An 
example may be given. In 1801 a survey was made for a road from the 
mouth of Black Pork of Cheat River to the head of the North Branch, in 
the present county of Tucker. That survey was mentioned frequently in 
the court records for twenty years, and to this day the road has not been 
made. The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad from Parsons to 
Fairfax passes over the old survey. Following will be found the most im- 
portant of the early road surveys: 

In 1787, "a road from John Cutriglit's, along the northwest side of Buckhannon 
River, by John Jackson's, to Pringle's Ford." 

Same year, "a road from the county seat by William Smith's, to Middle Fork." 

Same year, "a road from the head of Elk, up the Buckhannon Biver to John Cut- 
right's. " 

Same year, "a road from the county seat to Sandy Creek, taking in view the road 
that passes by Daniel Booth's, to the Harrison County line." 

Same year, "a road from Salt Lick on Leading Creek to Mud Lick." 

*See Veach's "Monongahela of Old." 

tA section of an old wagon wheel supposed to have been lost during General Forbes' 
expedition against Fort Duquesne in 1758, is in the Carnegie Museum at Pittsburg. The 
tire was not one piece as now, but four pieces, each a quarter circle. They were fastened to 
the felloes with heavy bolts and nuts every few inches, the heads of the bolts giving the 
tire somewhat the resemblance of a cog-wheel. The felloes of such a wagon supported 
the tire. On a modern wagon the tire supports the felloes. 


In 1788, "a wagon road from the road passing through Tygart's Valley, beginning at 
Mud Lick, thence to theState Road crossing Cheat River. " This road probably followed 
the route of the present road from Montrose down Clover Run to St. George. The State 
Road crossed Cheat at St. George. 

Same year, "a road from the Tygart Valley Road to Crabapple Bottom, " in Highland. 

In 1789, "a road from the county road in this county to Colonel Peter Hale's in Pen- 
dleton County." 

Same year, "a road from Baker's Old Mill Run at the Clarksburg Road to the county 
line at the ford of Big Sandy Creek." 

Same year, "a road from Peter Cassity's to the Clarksburg Road at the mouth of 
Leading Creek. " In 1789 the court ordered that certain roads "be worked but once a 
year and then cleared sufficient for an eight-foot bridle path." 

In 1790, "a road from Michael Isner's in Tygart's Valley, to the Hardy County line." 

Same year, "a road from Connolly's Lick to the top of the Alleghanies at the 
Augusta County line." 

In 1791, "a road from William Westfall's down through the Cove Settlement to the 
county line. " 

In 1792, "a road from Beverly to the Upper Ford of Cheat." 

1793, "a road along Currence's Blazes square across the Valley." 

Same year, "a road from Beverly to the Carpenter Settlement on Elk." 

In 1795, "a road from Beverly to Jacob Westfall's sawmill on Files Creek, so as to 
intersect the Big Road." 

In 1796, "a road up the ridge so along Minear's Mill Run." This survey led from St. 
George north-east into Preston. The road was not built for fifty years. 

In 1798, "a road from Beverly to Wolf's and the foot of Rich Mountain toward Buck- 

In 1800, "the roads and alleys in Beverly" were ordered opened. 

The above were the principal road, surveys in Randolph County up to 
the beginning of the present century. A number of them were outside of 
what is now Randolph. In 1801 a road order was passed to "view a way 
for a road from John Jackson's Mill to the top of the mountain at the head 
of the creek above John Bozar's on the old road that goes to Hecker's 
[Hacker's?] Creek, so as not to go through improvements, or alter the road 
that is laid off through William Vandevender's and Widow Reger's lands." 
That order betrays the secret of many a crooked, steep or swampy road in 
West Virginia, where it might have been comparatively straight, level and 
dry. The roads passed around fields even if to do so they must climb hills, 
or cross swamps. Travelers through West Virginia for a hundred years 
have been climbing hills because the short-sighted pioneer made the origi- 
nal path that way to get round a neighbor's corn patch. Five dollars in 
damages were probably saved at the start, but five hundred dollars have 
been expended in keeping the bad road in repair and traveling it. This is 
seen all over the State. Randolph is no worse for unnecessarily crooked 
and steep roads than other counties; not so bad as some. A road when first 
surveyed should be put in the proper place. All subsequent improvements 
upon it are permanent. The regularly surveyed turnpikes, and the modern 
county roads are usually placed where they should be. But even yet a 
road is sometimes put in the wrong place to avoid damages or to accommo- 
date some particular person at the expense of the public. No road should 
cross a hill when with little more expense and but little more distance, it 
can go round it. 'A pot-bail is as longstanding as lying." The pioneer 
road builders often forgot this; and modern ones occasionally lose sight 
of it. 

As late as 1814 a road was ordered ' 'brushed out" and made ' 'passable 
for men on horseback and pack horses," from Beverly to Buckhannon; and 
ten years later many products of the county, such as venison and hides, 
were carried on pack horses to Huntersville, where they were met by 



wagons and hauled to market. In 1819 $250 was appropriated to build a 
bridge ' ' where the road from Riffles Run to Jackson's River crosses Cheat 
River." Adam See, Jonathan Hutton and Jacob Ward were appointed 
commissioners to build the bridge, which was the first one of considerable 
size built in the county. It was not finished for some years. In the same 
year a bridge was ordered built across Leading Creek. In 1822 the court 
appropriated $250 toward opening a road from Beverly to Sistersville, by 
way of Clarksburg. 

In 1825 the first mention occurs on the Randolph records of a road to 
be opened from Staunton to the mouth of Little Kanawha. This road was 
authorized by an act of the Legislature passed March 5, 1824. The Staun- 
ton and Parkersburg turnpike was built about twenty years later over the 
same general route, but not on the exact location. That was a notable 
example of the folly of making a road in the wrong place, only to abandon 
it later. Thousands of dollars were spent in making the old road, which, 
like a number of others, was called "The State Road," and it was all 
thrown away; for when the engineers located the Staunton and Parkers- 
burg turnpike, they ignored the existence of the old road, and did not 
follow it except where, by chance, the old road was in the proper place. 
Had it been properly located at first, all the improvements on it would have 
contributed toward the completion of the pike. 

In 1826 Randolph joined with Monongalia in building a bridge across 
Sandy Creek, then their boundary, but now the boundary between Barbour 
and Taylor Counties. In 1832^ l^avid^fioff. was appointed by the county 
court to superintend a lottery to raise money to aid in the construction of a 
road from Beverly to Morgantown. At that time money for public enter- 
prise was frequently raised by lottery, authorized by the Legislature. In 
1824 the first steps were taken for building a bridge across the river near 
Beverly. When the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike was being located, 
it would have crossed the mountain from Huttonsville to the Middle Pork, 
had not the people of Beverly offered inducements for it to pass through 
their town. In 1877 the Legislature appropriated $1000, the county $250, 
and private parties subscribed $403 to aid in making a road from Helvetia 
to the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike. 


Below will be found a list of all the marriage licenses issued in Ran- 
dolph during the first thirty years of the county's existence, that is from 
1787 to 1817, together with the names. of the contracting parties, by whom 
married, and the year: 

man's name. woman's name. daughter of by whom married. 

William Low Eliz. Westf all William Westf all Isaac Edwards 

David Thomas Rachel Brooks Isaac Edwards 


John Cutright 
Zacariah Westfall 
Henry Mace 
James Holder 
William Gibson 
Samuel Stalnaker 
George Harper 

Rebeccah Truby 
Hannah Woolf 
Ann Currence 
Diana Westfall 
Mary W. Henry- 
Susan nahBatchiff 
Mary Baxter 

John Truby 
Lidia Currence 
Daniel Westfall 
Samuel W. Henry 
William Batchiff 

Isaac Edwards 
J W Loofborough 



man's name. 
Solomon Ware 
Cottrill Tolbert 
Philip Reger 
Moses Kade 

Nicholas Wilmoth 

George Rennix 

William Crow 
Isaac Newell 

Samuel Ball 

Isaac Phillip 
John Phillips 

Robert Clark 
Andrew Friend 
John Donoho 
Benj. Baggley 
Thomas Shaw 
William Currence 
Samuel Bringham 

Samuel Currence 
Hez. Rosekrans 
George Baker 
Jacob Rime 
Aaron McHenry 
Philip Kunce 
William Daniels 
John Sayler 

Cornel's Westfall 
John Hacker 
Robert Clark 
Jacob Shaver 
John Wilson 
Jacob White 
Moses Slutter 
George Stalnaker 

James Booth 
Martin Miller 
Abr'm Springston 

woman's name. 
Sarah Day 
Elizabeth Reger 
Sarah Jackson 
Elizabeth Anglin 


Leonard Day 
Jacob Reger 
John Jackson 
William Anglin 

Susney Currence 

Judith Westfall William Westfall 

Elizabeth Herrin 
Abagail Vanscoy Aaron Vanscoy 

Eliz. Maxwell Robert Maxwell 

Elizabeth Kittle Jacob Kettle 

Bathia Wells 

Mary Friend 
Elenor McCall 
Mary Wilmoth 
Sarah Westfall 
Margaret McCall 
Mary Ward 
Sarah Neil son 

Phinehas Wells 

Jonas Friend 
Peter McCall 
Thomas Wilmoth 
George Westfall 


J W Loof borough 
Isaac Edwards 

J W Loofborough 

Isaac Edwards 

A. G. Thompson 
J W Loofborough 

J W Loofborough 

J W Loofborough 

Valentine Power 
J W Loofborough 

Sylvester Ward 
John Neilson 


Jenney Bringham 
Elizabeth Bogard 
Nancy Simpson 
Susan 'h Cutright 
Elizabeth Boarer 
Ann Gibson 
Barb'a Barnhouse 
Cath. Stalnaker 
Mary Ann Minear 
Elizab'h Helmick 
Susannah Smith 
Gean Hudkins 
Rachel Davis 
Mary Warthen 
Elizab'h Pickett 
Nancy Parsons 
Susanna Hart 

Widow Bringham 
Cornelius Bogard 
John Simpson 
Benj. Cutright 
Jacob Boarer 
William Gibson 
John Barnhouse 
Jacob Stalnaker 

Jacob Helmick 
David Smith 
Bennett Hudkins 

John Warthen 
Heehcoat Pickett 
Joseph Parsons 
Edward Hart 

Phoebe Osborn Terah Osborn 
Marg"ret Lochrea John Lochrea 
Mary Innis William Innis 

Valentine Power 
J W Loofborougb 

Valentine Power 

Valentine Power 
Robert Maxwell 

Phinehas Wells 
Jos. Cheaverout 
Robert Maxwell 

Matthew Ryan 
Robert Maxwell 
Phinehas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 

Robert Maxwell 
Robert Maxwell 
Robert Maxwell 




Francis Riffle 
Joseph Donoho 
Thomas Gough 
Th's Summerfield 
Samuel Keller 
William Wright 
Garrett Johnson 
Henry Paine 

Joel Westfall 
Isaac White 
John M. Nail 
Chris. Burgess 
Thomas Wilmoth 
William Kelly 
William Clark 
James Riddle 
John Clark 
James C. Goff 

Wm. McCorkle 
Benjamin Marsh 
Alexander Goff 
John Cutright 
David Whitman 
Barney McCall 
James Ferguson 
Jacob Wees 
John Wilmoth 
Joseph Lyons 
Aaron Vanscoy 
Leonard Hire 

Jacob Baker 
Samuel Harris 
Jacob Parker 
John Hartley 
David White 
Levin Nicholas 

Richard Reeder 
J'n'thn Buffington 
Hen. Schoonover 

Jonathan Daniels 
Chris. Lamberton 
Daniel Clark 
Jacob Ward 


Eva Mace 
Elizab'h Wilmoth 
Rachel Burns 
Elizabeth Roy 
Anna Springston 
Anna Marsh 
Mary England 
Elizabeth Smith 

Elizabeth White 
Margaret Haddan 
Christian Riffle 
Elizabeth Shaw 
Amy Schoonover 
Gean Kittle 
Barbara Helmick 
Anna Grayson 
Mary Ryan 
Elizabeth Howell 


John Mace 
Thomas Wilmoth 
Patrick Burns 
Joseph Roy 
Eliz. Springston 

James England 
William Smith 

William White 
David Haddan 
Jacob Riffle 
William Shaw 
Benj. Schoonover 
Jacob Kittle 
Jacob Helmick 

Solomon Ryan 
William Howell 


Juda McHenry 
Sarah Minear 
Elizabeth Riddle 
Deborah Osborn 
Nancy Daniels 
Ann Buck 
Elizabeth Donoho 
Sarah Isner 
Mary Cun'ingham 
Elizabeth Mace 
Gean Taffe 
Dolly Phyman 

Samuel McHenry 
John Minear 
James Riddle 
George Osborn 

Tabitha Buck 

Catharine Philips 
Jas. Cunningham 
John Mace 
Nancy Grimes 


Nancy Showter 
Ann Mace 
Elizabeth Burns 
Mary Roy 
Eliz. Summerfleld 
Margaret Mace 

John Mace 
Patrick Burns 
Joseph Roy 
Jos. Summerfleld 
John Mace 


Susanna Wilmoth 
Urie Butcher 
Mad'line Helmick 
Mary Campfield 

Thorns Wilmoth 
Samuel Butcher 
Jacob Helmick 
Daniel Campfield 


Robert Maxwell 
Robert Maxwell 
Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 
Robert Maxwell 
Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 
Robert Maxwell 

Robert Maxwell 

Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 
Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 

Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 

Robert Maxwell 

Phineahas Wells 
Robert Maxwell 

Robert Maxwell 


Mary Channel 
Sidney Westfall 
Mary Ware 
Eliz'bth Whitman 

Joseph Channel Robert Maxwell 

Mathew Whitman 




Asahel Heath 
Rob't Chenoweth 
Peter Conrad 
George Kittle 
William Bonner 
John Heater 
George Riffle 

Jacob Lorentz 
Jacob Stalnaker 
Samuel Degarmo 
Jacob Crouch 
J. W. Stalnaker 
William Booth 
Enoch Osborn 
Michael Westfall 
Jos. Summerfield 
Gaulaudat Oliver 

Barton Hoskins 
Samuel Channel 
John Stalnaker 
William Yokum 
John White. 
Richard Ware 
Abra'm Skidmore 
Silas Smith 
Timothy Vanscoy 
Christian Bickle 
Eli Butcher 
Richard Hoskins 

Benjamin Riddle 
James Tyger 
James Skidmore 
John Helmick 
Jacob Wilson 
John Spillman 
Abraham Kittle 
Henry Mace 
John Helmick 
James McClean 
Isaac Riffle 

Samuel Wamsley 
William Hoff 
Robert Darling 
Val. Stanaker 
Robert Shanklin 


Eliza Currence 
Rachel Stalnaker 
Ann Currence 
Elizabeth Weese 
Jemima Carr 
Mary Higgins 
M'rgaret Helmick 


John Currence 
John Stalnaker 
John Currence 
Jacob Weese 
John Carr 


Robert Maxwell 

Jacob Helmick 


Rebec. Stalnaker 

Nancy Channel 

Elizabeth Grimes 

Jane Smith 

Mary Chenowith 

Deborah Hart 

Mary Tidricks 

Mary Helmick 

Abigail White 

Mary Ann Bogard Cornelius Bogard 

Val. Stalnaker 
Joseph Channel 
Mark Grimes 
Jonathan Smith 
John Chenowith 
Edward Hart. 

Adam Helmick 

Robert Maxwell 


Naomi Ingram 
Sarah Hornbeck 
Elizabeth Haddan 
Sarah Ryan 
Jemima Heath 
Polly Wilson 
Elizabeth Vance 
Sarah Shaw 
Phoebe Wilmoth 
Hannah Spillman 
Elizabeth Hart 
Elizabeth Ingram 

Abraham Ingram 
Benj. Hornbeck 

Solomon Ryan 
Asahel Heath 
George Wilson 
John Vance 
William Shaw 
Thomas Wilmoth 
John Spillman 
Edward Hart 
Abraham Ingram 

Robert Maxwell 


Nancy Goff 
Elizabeth Parsons 
Sarah Kittle 
Joan Ryan 
Mary Helmick 
Elizabeth Bickle 
Mary Scott 
Mary Davis 
Rebecca Carle 
Rachel Channel 
Elizabeth Wash 

Salathiel Goff 
William Parsons 
Jacob Kittle 
Solomon Ryan 
Jacob Helmick 
Jacob Bickle, 

Robert Maxwell 

Joseph Channel 
John Wash 


Elizabeth Crouch 
Rebecca Johnson 
Sarah Vanscoy 
Lucretia Jenkins 
Mary Marstiller 

Robert Johnson 
Aaron Vanscoy 

Nich. Marstiller 

Robert Maxwell 




Joseph Wamsley 
John Johnson 
Isaac Westfall 
John Forrest 
George Bickle 

William Lynch 
Jeremiah Mace 
John McLaughlin 
Robert Ferguson 
John Gibson 
John Conrad 
Thomas Butcher 
Andrew Skidmore 
Jacob Westfall 
Abner McClain 
John Wilson 
Wm. Stalnaker 

Basil Hudkins 
James Turner 
Isaac Newell 
John Brady 
Henry Hardman 
John Myers 
John Holder 
George Harnick 
Thomas Holder 
Abraham Kittle 

Ulery Conrad 
John R. Beall 
John Wees 
George Helmick 
William Burns 
Wm. Louchary 
John Hardwick 
S. Cunningham 
Jacob Borer 
Jacob Wilson 
Jonathan Vanscoy 
Adam Chiner 
Wm. F. Wilson 
George Keener 
Henry Wilfong 
Sol. Carpenter 
Isaac Hedley 
William Yeager 
George Nestor 
Robt. W. Collins 


Patty Jameson 
Elizabeth Poland 
Cath. Shreery 
Lyhua Carpenter 
Mary Skidmore 


Peter Poland 
Joseph Shreery 
Jere. Carpenter 
John Skidmore 


Nancy Hill 
Rhoda Williams 
Barbara Bickle 
Deborah Wilmoth 
Nancy Harris 
Betsey Currence 
Susanna Petro 
Margaret Hoskins 
Dolly Wilson 
Rhoeba Daniels 
Betsey Vanscoy 
Elizabeth Goff 

Sarah Williams 
Jacob Bickle 
Thomas Wilmoth 

John Currence 
Henry Petro 
Bennett Hoskins 


Robert Maxwell 

John Skidmore 

John Skidmore 

Robert Maxwell 

Aaron Vanscoy 


Nancy Skidmore 
Mary Corrick 
Luciana Wilson 
Susanna Ware 
Prudence Scott 
Mary Stalnaker 
Mary Lewis 
Levina Royce 
Margaret Gandy 
Elizabeth Esters 

Andrew Skidmore 
John Corrick 
Thomas Wilson 

Jacob Stalnaker 
John Lewis 
Joseph Royce 
widow Jno. Gandy 


Sarah Currence 
Patty Holbert 
Mary Phillips 
Elizabeth Isner 
Susanna Chilcott 
Mary Shagel 
Sarah Helmick 
Mary Donoho 
Sarah Lochary 
Elizabeth Fields 
Jane Booth 
Peggy Miller 
Christiana Wees 
Catharine Hill 
Elizabeth Wilson 
Elizabeth Thorn 
Millie Poland 
Mary Gibson 

Robert Maxwell 

John Currence 
Aaron Holbert 

Henry Isner 
Edward Johnson 

Jacob Shagle 
Jacob Helmick 
William Donoho 
John Lochary 
John Fields 
Daniel Booth 
John Miller 
Jacob Wees 
John Hill 
William Wilson 
Frederick Thorn 
Martin Poland 
Nicholas Gibson 

Robert Maxwell 

John Skidmore 
John Carney 
Simeon Harris 

John Rowan 




Uriah Ingrim 
Daniel Decker 
Jacob Stanley 
Abel Kelley 
Jacob Teter 
Joshua Morgan 

Martin Poland 
James Carr 
George Corrick 
Eben Schoonover 
Simon Maloney 
Benj. Phillips 
John Wilmoth 
Geo. Barnhouse 
Hezekiah Bussey 
James Ryan 
John Black 
Henry Hudskins 
Andrew Crouch 
Thomas Scott 
John Chenowith 
Soloman Parsons 
Martin Miller 
Peyton Butcher 

William Moore 
John Bussey 
Samuel Morrow 
Joseph Royce 
Jacob Yokum 
Jeremiah Reddle 
Thomas Wamsley 
Ruben Holbert 
John Hill 
Jonathan Yeager 
Rod. Bonnifield 
Benjamin Helms 
Solomon Yeager 

Dan Howdershell 
Joseph Bennett 
George Hill 
Nicholas Mace 
Thomas Parsons 
James Warner 
Levi Ward 
Edmond Jones 
Archibald Earle 
Ezekiel Paxton 


Hannah Holder 
Mary A. Yokum 
Nancy Chapman 
Jemima Kittle 
Nancy Cade 
Hannah Gould 


James Holder 
Michael Yokum 
Val. Chapman 
Jacob Kittle 
Moses Cade 
Aaron Gould 


Mary Wilson 
Ann Hornbeck 
Jemima Chillcott 
Sarah Reck 
Sarah Hornick 
Phoebe Walker 
Ann Kittle 
Susanna Pitman 
Fannie Knotts 
Elizabeth Bennett 
Mary Bussey 
Mary Isner 
Elizabeth Hutton 
Nancy Skidmore 
Mary Skidmore 
Hannah Parsons 
Nancy Day 
Elizabeth Renix 

William Wilson 
Benj. Hornbeck 
R. L. Chillcott 
George Reck 
Aug. Hornick 

Richard Kittle 

Sarah Bennett 
John Bussey 
Thomas Isner 
Jonathan Hutton 
And. Skidmore 
And. Skidmore 
William Parsons 


John Rowan 

tt a 

Phinehas Wells 
ii it 

ii ii 

Henry Camdem 

Simeon Harris 
John Rowan 

Simeon Harris 

Robert Maxwell 

George Renix 


Rachel Phillips 
Sasanna Warthen 
Isabella Barr 
S'ah Summerfleld 
Jane Wamsley 
Mgaret Hardman 
Jemima Channel 
Betty Brannon 
Nancy Warthen 
Elizabeth Miller 
Nancy Minear 
Rachel Moore 
Mary Teeter 

Henry Phillips 
John Warthen 
John Barr 
Jos. Summerfield 
Mathew Wamsley 
Eliza'th Hardman 
Jeremi'h Channel 
John Brannon 
John Warthen 
Andrew Miller 
David Minear 
David Moore 
Jacob Teeter 

Simeon Harris 

ii ii 

Robert Maxwell 

ti it 

John Rowan 

ti ii 

ii ii 

ti ii 

Simeon Harris 

Cath'in Foreman Jacob Foreman 

Mary Phillips 
Rebecca Scott 
Elizabeth Riffle 
Eliza'th Brannon 
Barbara Robbinet 
Cathe'e Whitman 
Melinda Carr 
Mary Buckey 
C. Coykendall 

Henry Phillips 
Henry Scott 
Jacob Riffle 

Mat. Whitman 

Peter Buckey 
J. Coykendall 

Simeon Harris 

ii ii 

John Rowan 







Jacob Isner 

P'gy Schoonover 

Benj. Schoonover 

John Rowan 

And. Stalnaker 

Clarissa Danbury 

< i 

( i 

Ezekiel Hart 

Peggy Hart 

Daniel Hart 


1 1 

David Nutter 

Elizabeth Cox 

Henry Cox 

Simeon Harris 

Samuel Skidmore 

Elizabeth Pitman 

Joseph Pitman 

i i 

i i 

George Beall 

Mary Parsons Isaac Parsons 

1R1 9 

( i 

1 1 

Benj amin Jonston 


Catherine Hall 

Simeon Harris 

Henry England 

Mary Alexander 

Elias Alexander 

( i 

i i 

John Gainer 

Susanna Easter 

Jacob Easter 


i i 

John Shaver 

Polly Nester 

Jacob Nester 

i ti 

t i 

Jesse Hall 

Sally Braidut 

Luke Braidut 

John Gill Watts 

Samuel Love 

Sarah Newall 

Isaac Newall 

William Munrow 

Charles Scott 

Agnes Kittle 

Richard Kittle 

John Rowan 

Benjamin Scott 

Jane Currence 

William Currence 

1 1 

i t 

William Smith 

Easter Pitman 

Joseph Pitman 

t i 

i i 

Frederick Corrick 

Parmel' Checvate 

Rob. L. Checvate 

t i 


Jon'thn Hornbeck 

Kitty Wilt 

i i 

i t 

Jacob Westfall 

Sarah Hinckle 

Justice Hinckle 

t i 

i i 

Edwin S. Duncan 

Prudence Wilson 

Wm. B. Wilson 

i i 


Chas. Marstiller 

Peggy McLain 

James McLain 


1 1 

Jehu Chenowith 

Elender Skidmore 

Andrew Skidmore 

i i 


Willis Taylor 

Sarah Clark 

i t 


John Petro 

Tasa Butcher 

1 8 

Samuel Butcher 

1 A 



Nathan Minear 

Eliz. Bonnifleld 



Amos Canfield 

N. Schoonover 

Benj. Schoonover 

i i 


Abraham Wolf 

R. McLaughlin 


1 1 

Elijah Skidmore 

M. Cunningham 


i i 

1 1 

Andrew Crouch 

Eliz. Stalnaker 

Bostian Stalnaker 

i i 

1 1 

Joseph Bennett 

Catherine Paine 

Henry Paine 

i ( 

1 1 

Richard Moore 

Mary A. Phillips 

Joseph Phillips 

Simeon Harris 

Francis Vansy 

Mary Gainer 

George Gainer 

< t 


Henry Smith 

Catherine Lesher Jacob Lesher 

1 81 ~ 



Isaac Wamsley 

Susanna Yeager 

George Yeager 

Simeon Harris 

William J. Davis 

Lydia Gould 

Aaron Gould 

t i 

Thomas Goff 

Sarah Robison 

John Robison 


Solomon Westfall 

Mary Moore 

Daniel Moore 

1 1 

Henry Storm 

Eliz. Stalnaker. 

Wm. Stalnaker 


Jonas Poling 

Phoebe Headley 

Cary Headley 

t i 

John Phillips 

Rachel Phillips 

John Phillips 

i t 

Solomon Collett 

Sarah Petro 

Henry Petro 

John Rowan 

Thomas Phillips 

Peggy Westfall 

Jacob Westfall 

( £ 


John Flanagan 

Susan Donoho 

William Donoho 

i i 

1 1 

Alex. McQuain 

Elizabeth Scott 

i i 

1 1 

Aseal Isner 

Sarah Canfield 

Daniel Canfield 

I I 

t i 

Job Parsons 

Jemima Ward 

Jacob Ward 

t I 

1 1 

Win. Schoonover 

Char'e Marstiller 

Nich. Marstiller 

i i 

1 1 

James Shreeve 

Lydia Smith 

Jonathan Smith 

1 1 

i i 




John Ryan 
John S. Hart 
John McLain 
Henry Walter 
Gab'l Chenowith 
Edward Hart 
John Shreeve 

Joseph Phillips 
■Squire Bosworth 
Joseph Cross 
John Skidmore 
Joseph Moore 
John Fling 
John Stout 
Daniel Boyle 
Andrew Foreman 
Samuel Poling 
William Ryan 
George Goff 
Benjamin Arnold 
John Norman 
Martin Poling 
Moses Kittle 
James Skidmore 
David Holder 
Daniel Hardway 
Thomas Skidmore 
J. Cunningham 
Maxwell Renix 
Andrew Snider 


Susanna Briggs 
Jemima Stagle 
Delilah Currence 
Phoebe Wood 
Eliz. Currence 
Susanna Wamsley 


William Briggs 
Jacob Stagle 
John Currence 
John Wood 
Wm. Currence 
John Phillips 
James Wamsley 


Margaret Kittle 
Hannah Buckey 
Mary Westfall 
Juda Pitman 
Mary Cross 
Elizabeth Gainer 
Barbara Cosner 
Catherine Wilson 
Rachel Poland 
Elizabeth Marks 
Rebecca Bennett 
Nancy Robinson 
S. W. Wamsley 
N. Montgomery 
Anna Right 
Nancy Bennett 
Ellender Kittle 
Hannah Helmick 
Mary Kittle 
Mary Jordan 
Sarah Wilmoth 
M. Summerfield 

Jacob Kittle 
Peter Buckey 

Joseph Pitman 
Barbara Cross 

Vandal Cosner 
William Wilson 

Wm. Wamsley 

William Right 
Jacob Bennett 

Abraham Kittle 

Abraham Kittle 
John Jordan 
Nicholas Wilmoth 


John Rowan 

Asbery Pool 

John J. Waldo 
William Monroe 
Simeon Harris 

John Rowan 


Like all other parts of America, Randolph was the home of many wild 
animals when first settled by white people. There were wolves, bears, 
deer, panthers, buffalo, elk, foxes, wild cats, bay lynxes or catamounts, and 
all other animals, large and small, known to this part of America. The 
buffalo and elk soon disappeared. The deer, the bear and the wolf have 
come down to the present day, but cannot last much longer, unless pro- 
tected in game preserves. The wolf is almost extinct in West Virginia, 
a few being occasionly met with in Pendleton, Randolph, Grant, Tucker 
and Pocahontas Counties. One was killed near St. George, in Tucker 
County, as late as 1894, and one in Randolph in 1897. Very early in this 
county's history a bounty was offered for wolf scalps, and at late periods 
bounties were offered for panthers, foxes and wild cats. The wolf bounties 
varied from a dollar to forty dollars, at different periods, being forty 
dollars at present. There is no record of more than one wolf's scalp being 
paid for since the Civil War, but perhaps there were several. Prior to 
1787 no record exists of wolves killed in Randolph, but without doubt they 



frequently fell before the rifles of the pioneer. So far as ascertainable, 
the following table shows the number of wolves killed in Randolph: 
















































































The following table shows the record of panthers and wild cats killed 
in Randolph so far as preserved: 

1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 

Panthers 5 

Wild cats 

Wolves differ from most wild animals in this, that they have no home. 
"A den of wolves" is a figure of speech conveying a false impression, as 
wolves have no dens. They travel from their birth till their death, seldom 
sleeping twice in the same place. They roam over wide extents of country, 
having general circuits which they make. They had certain places where 
they crossed rivers or mountains whenever they had occasion to go that 
way; and old trappers sometimes profited by discovering these crossings. 
Adam Harper killed more wolves than any other man in Randolph. He lived 
on Clover Run in the present county of Tucker, about eight miles north of 
Montrose. He discovered a wolf-crossing and killed several each year 
for many years. * The proceedings of the county court, recording wolf- 
scalp transactions, were usually unentertaining; but sometimes a little 
spice was mixed. For instance, in 1788, the court "ordered that the killing 
of one old wolf scalp by Benjamin Jones be liquidated;" and the next year 
William Parsons was "allowed for the killing of three old wooalfs, they 
being hereby liquidated." Sometimes it was spelled "wooalfts;" and nearly 
always spelled with a double "o." In 1789 John Haddan was paid for 
"killing three old woolft scalps and one young one." But the most aston- 
ishing statement is that a pioneer "proved the killing of two old wolves in 
open court." The clerk probably did not mean that the wolves were killed 
in court, but that the proof was furnished in court that the wolves had 
been killed elsewhere. 

*Samuel Bonnifield, one of the early Sheriffs of Randolph, lived at Horse Shoe bottom 
on Cheat River. One night three wolves visited his Held and killed sheep. He tracked 
them where they crossed the river, and saw that in crossing a rivulet which came down 
from the mountain on the opposite side, all three had stept on a certain stone in the 
brook. He set a trap on the stone, and covered it with moss. In about three weeks he 
caught a wolf. In about three weeks more, at the same stone, he caught another. 
Again in about three weeks he caught the third and the last. It appears that the 
three wolves had a particular circuit which they traveled in about three weeks, and 
that they always crossed the river and the brook at exactly the same place. A certain 
pack of about twenty wolves roamed through Trcston and the northern part of Randolph 
up to the building of the B. & O. R. II. When it was built the wolves happened to be 
north of it, and never again appeared in Randolph, probably being afraid to cross the 



It is a principle or practice of law that a written instrument is none 
the less valid because of incorrect English or bad Latin. It is well that 
this was so in the early days of Randolph courts. The records are as well 
kept as the average of the State, and better than some; but, the early 
clerks or deputies often had not the means of consulting a law dictionary, 
and when they were called upon to use technical terms, they sometimes 
made mistakes in spelling; but, as their meaning was clear, no harm was 
done. In 1809 the clerk records that a writ of "firey faces" was issued 
(fieri facias). The judge had probably made the verbal order, and the 
clerk spelled the words as they sounded to his ear. The same clerk at 
another time when using the words "nunc pro tunc" (now for then or here 
for there) wrote the phrase " nunckpytunck. " The writ of "duces tecum" 
(bring with you) was written " duses take hem," and the term "nolle 
prosequi" (prosecute no further) was spelled "nolly prossy kee." The 
word "ditimus" was spelled "diddy mous.' 


Much difficulty attends the collection of statistics concerning slavery 
in Randolph. It is well known that the county never was the possessor of 
many slaves. Perhaps there were always as many free negroes as slaves. 
The old court records contain minutes which occasionally throw light on the 
subject. In 1788 John Wilson asked the county court to prosecute Edward 
Hart for importing negroes into the State, contrary to law. The offense 
was a misdemeanor, but there is no record that Hart was prosecuted. In 
1790 a negro named Ben applied to the court for his freedom on the grounds 
that he had been unlawfully imported into the State from "West Jersey." 
The court ordered him set free. In 1807 Benjamin Toprail, a slave, was 
given his freedom by his master, William Howell. In the May court, 1813, 
a slave named Morris, the property of Charles Myres, was found guilty of 
grand larceny and was given 39 lashes on the bare back, "well laid on," 
and was burned in the hand in open court, in the presence of John Crouch, 
Benjamin Hornbeck, William Steers, Robert Chenoweth, Andrew Cross and 
George Wess, Justices. That was the last person burned in Randolph 
so far as the records show. In 1824 the following order, without any 
explanation, is found on the books: 

"Commissioners were appointed by the court to value the negro slaves now confined 
in the county jail, and upon their report being filed, the court are of opinion that the 
said slaves are of sufficient value to detain them in prison twelve months. 

In 1792 there were twelve negro men, liable to road work in 
Randolph. In 1848, Allen, a slave of Catherine Parsons, was found guilty 
of burning Solomon Parsons' barn, and was given sixty lashes. 


The early court records of Randolph give scraps of information now 
and then which throw light on financial matters in the county's early history. 
Tobacco was not generally the medium of exchange, as in some of the 
counties further east. Occasionally a public officer was paid in tobacco, 
but not often. The article was never extensively raised in Randolph. In 
early years the pound, shilling and penny were the measure of money. 
This was not the pound sterling of England, but Virginia money. It is not 



known when or why the Virginia pound first differed from the English 
pound.* The trouble about the currency arose as early as 1631. f In 1716 
the Governor of Virginia speaks of Virginia currency as different from that 
of England. % Translated into the present currency the Virginia pound was 
$3.33^; the shilling 16J cents, the penny was one and seven-eighteenths 
cents. The coins in circulation were mostly Spanish or Mexican. In 
March, 1788, the tavern rates of the county were fixed by the county as 

Maderia wine, per half pint 25 cents. 

Other wines, 
West India rum 
Other rums ' ' 
Peach brandy '' 
Good whiskey 

.20 5-6 
.16 2-3 
.12 1-2 
.11 1-9 
.11 1-9 

Dinner : 16 2-3 

Breakfast 121-2 

Supper 12 1-2 

Lodging, in clean sheets each night 8 1-3 

Corn and oats, per gallon 11 1-9 

Horse at Hay, every 12 hours 11 1-9 

Pasture, every 24 hours 8 1-3 

In 1788 the county court allowed and the Sheriff was ordered to pay to 
the assessors for their work, as follows: To John Jackson $7.16f; to John 
Haddan $6; to Cornelius Bogard $10. The same year the clerk furnished a 
list of all the county fees due, which were: On lands, $10.51; on wills, $1; 
on attorney fees, $43. 33^; on writs, $24.50. 

A suit in court the same year declared the value of "2 coverlids and 
one blanket" to be $16.65. In those days the most of the county revenue 
was raised by poll .tax, the tax being laid on able-bodied men, whether white 
or black, bond or free. Such persons were usually called "tithables. " The 
table which follows will show the rate of poll tax on each tithable in Ran- 
dolph for a number of years: 


1789 . . 

1790 . 

1791. . 

1792. . 

1793. . 

1794. . 

1795. . 

1797. . 

1798. . 

1799. . 

1800. . 

1801. . 

1802. . 

1803. . 

1804. . 

1805. . 

1806. . 

1807. . 

1808. . 


.$ .75 
. .75 

. .85* 
. 1.08i 
. 1.57 

. 1.08* 
. .911 
. 1.121 
. .75 
. .92 








1809. . 

1810. . 

1811. . 

1812. . 

1813. . 

1814. . 

1815. . 

1816. . 

1817. . 

1818. . 

1819. . 

1820. . 

1821. . 

1822. . 

1823. . 

1824. . 

1825. . 

1826. . 

1827. . 

1828. . 


. 2.00 

. 1.17 

. 1.50 
. 1.25 
. 1.50 
. 1.00 


. .624 
. 1.00 
. .65 
. .621 
. .80 
. .621 
. .62+ 
. .56i 


1829. . 

1830. . 

1831. . 

1832. . 

1833. . 

1834. . 

1835. '. 

1836. . 

1837. . 

1838. . 

1839. . 

1840. . 

1841. . 

1842. . 

1843. . 

1844. . 

1845. . 

1846. . 

1847. . 

1848. . 


$ .50 
. .56i 
. .75 
. .621 

. .80 


. .80 
. .92 
. 1.00 
. .80 

. 1.23 
. 3.00 
. 1.25 
. .70 
. .42 
. .80 




















$ .57 

* See Jefferson's "Notes on Virginia." 

tSce Waddell's "Annals of Augusta County," p. 261. 

li See Governor Spotswood's Letters in the "Archives of Virginia. 


In 1788 John Wilson was allowed 300 pounds of tobacco for his services 
in collecting taxes. In 1790 the clerk's fees amounted to 6,650 pounds of 
tobacco, which was duly inspected by John Jackson. It appears that this 
was all the pay the clerk received for some time. At any rate his mind was 
not clear on the subject, for at the September court, 1791, this order occurs: 
"The clerk received nothing from September 1, 1790, to January 1, 1791, 
for any fees due to him that he can anyways recollect." In 1795 the court 
ordered that whiskey must sell at 8^ cents a pint and cider at 8^ cents a 
quart. In the same year the jailer was allowed fifty cents a day for feeding 
prisoners. In 1815 sawed lumber sold in Beverly at $10 per 1000 feet. In 
1816 the county court felt called upon to take a hand in regulating the cur- 
rency, not only of the county, but of the country at large. It gave notice 
to the people that certain kinds of money were good. The order of April 
23 says: 

" It appears to the court that there is no depreciation in the bank paper now in cir- 
culation in the county." 

And at the next court the following brief order indicates that there 
might have been a tendency to discount certain kinds of money, and the 
court came to the rescue with its fiat: 

"Ordered, that the chartered notes now in circulation do pass at par with Banks of 

Whether that order sufficed to hold the notes at par, we are not in- 
formed, but in February, 1817, another order is found on the books of the 
county court: 

"It is ordered and certified that the notes on the following banks are current within 
this county, to wit: The Bank of Marietta, within the State of Ohio; the Union Bank, 
of Pennsylvania; The Bank of the City of Baltimore and Annapolis; the banks within the 
District of Columbia, and the State Bank of North Carolina." 

An old account book, dated 1823, belonging to Robert McCrum's store in 
Beverly, is in the Clerk's office where it was probably used in some suit. It 
shows the price of several commodities at that time. Coffee per pound, 
44 cents; 2\ yards of green cloth, $12; one tortoise comb, $2.50; John Chen- 
oweth bought "one Boston hat," $7; Jenks Marshall paid $1.50 for one 
pound of tea; eggs 6i cents per dozen; flannel per yard, 62^ cents; wool 
per pound, 20 cents; cotton cloth per yard, 18£ cents; paper of pins, 12| 
cents; rice per pound 10 cents; needles per dozen 64/ cents; New Orleans 
sugar per pound. 15 cents; pepper per pound 50 cents. In a bill sold one 
individual there were 108 articles, and 33 of these were rum, gin, brandy, 
or whiskey. In 1824 the court paid 75 cents for six panes of glass, size not 
stated. The next year 78 pounds of sheet iron cost $13. In 1829 the 
the tavern rates were. 

Lodging per night with clean sheets 6i cents. 

Dieting per meal 25 cents. 

French brandy, per half pint 25 cents. 

Whiskey, peach brandy, or apple brandy, per half pint 10 cents. 

Cider-wine, per quart 25 cents. 

Cider-oil, per quart 121 cents. 

Cider, per quart 6i cents. 

Horse at hay, 24 hours 25 cents. 

Oats or corn, per gallon 10 cents. 

The county court was sometimes philanthropic, and did things for the 
love of humanity. In 1792 Thomas Summerfield was "permitted to sell, 


without license, liquors on the road which leads from Tygart's Valley to the 
North Fork, for the benefit of travelers on such a long and lonesome road." 
In 1897 the court offered bounties as follows: For wolves, $40; panthers, 
$10; gray foxes 50 cents; red foxes, $1; wild cats, $1; hawks, 25 cents; 
eagles, $1. 


Like all other parts of the civilized and uncivilized world, Randolph has 
had its poor from the first, although they have never existed in such numbers 
as to enter as an important factor into the county's history. The first 
mention of the poor in the court records was in November, 1788, when 
Samuel Warner, an orphan, son of James Warner, was ordered by the 
court to be bound to Cornelius Bogard till 21 years old, at which time Mr. 
Bogard was required to give him a horse, saddle and bridle. This was the 
usual method of caring for orphans, not otherwise provided for. They 
were furnished a home with some good man who was placed under bond to 
treat them well and when of age to give them some specified sum or piece 
of property to pay for their service. The next year, 1789, Thomas Dren- 
nin, an orphan, aged 16, was bound to Cornelius Bogard till 21. In all the 
early history of Randolph County, not one word is found relating to the 
education of the orphans. It is known, however, that some provision was 
made for them by the State. 

At the October court, 1801, a note was made which gives information 
concerning the family of Daniel Cameron, who was killed by Indians in 
1781, below Philippi. It was shown that, when he was killed, he left a 
widow and one daughter, Catherine, a year old, and that five months after 
his death a second daughter, Elizabeth, was born. Both children grew to 
womanhood; and Mrs. Cameron, after the death of her first husband, 
married Thomas Cade. In 1803, for the purpose of electing overseers and 
caring for the poor, the. county was divided into four districts, and the 
election resulted as follows : 

First District. From the upper end of the county down to Files Creek, the election 
was held by John Iladdan at the house of William Currence, and Tohn Currence was 

Second District. From Files Creek to the lower end of the Valley, including Lead- 
ing Creek, the Wilmoth settlement on Cheat, and Dry Fork; the election was held by 
William B. Wilson at his own house, and Nicholas Marstiller was elected. 

Third District. The west side of Laurel Hill, including Glady Creek, Sugar Creek 
and the Cove settlement, ''and the county line along the Valley River ;" the election 
was held by William Wilson at the house of Henry Phillips. William Wilson was 

Fourth District. The Horse Shoe settlement and the rest of the county as far as 
the Glades in Maryland. There was no election, and Samuel Bonnifleld was appointed. 

There was no change m the manner of taking care of the poor for many 
years. The orphans were provided with homes. So far as the records 
show, no provision whatever was made for unfortunate older people, but it 
is well known, outside the records, that they were taken care of then as 
well as now. It was the duty of the overseers to look after them, and the 
county court had no occasion to make special orders. In 1854 the first 
movement was made toward building an almshouse. In that year an elec- 
tion was held to decide whether the county should buy land and build a poor 
house. No record can be found of the vote cast, but from the fact that no 
poor house was built, it is presumed that the measure was defeated at the 



polls. The county adopted the plan of hiring the paupers kept by the year, 
the contractor giving bond for the faithful performance of his duty, and the 
custom has not yet been changed. 


The list which follows shows the 
Sheriffs of this county and the year 
when each first took office. Some of 
them held office two, three or four times, 
but their names are given only once, 
and that in the year when they were 
elected or appointed the first time. 

Jacob Westf all 1787 

Cornelius Westfall .... 1789 

Edward Jackson 1792 

Uriah Gandy* 1793 

Cornelius Bogard 1796 

John Wilson 1798 

Matthew Whitman 1800 

Asahel Heath 1803 

John Currence 1806 

Samuel Bonnifield «[ 1806 

George Rennix 1808 

John Chenoweth .... 1810 

Isaac Booth 1813 

John Crouch 1815 

Benjamin Hornbeck ' 1815 

William Daniels ■ ■ 1818 

Andrew Crawford 1820 

Ely Butcher 1822 

Robert Chenoweth 1827 

JohnM. Hart 1829 

William Marteney 1830 

George Stalnaker 1833 

David Holder 1839 

Levi Ward ...1841 

Peter Conrad 1847 

Jacob W. See.. 1848 

George McLean 1850 

Signatures of Randolph's Early 

"Uriah Gandy was a son-in-law ot Jesse Hughes, the well-known Indian fighter of 
Harrison County. The name was and is occasionally spelled G-andee. 

\ Samuel Bonnifield was four times Sheriff of Randolph, the last time in 1838, when 
he was 86 years old. He became a Justice of the Peace in 1795, and served, except when 
he was Sheriff, until his death in 1847. I-Ie was born in 1752 where Washington city now 
stands. He was a soldier in Dunmore's War; fought at Point Pleasant in 1774, and re- 
mained there several weeks, taking care of the wounded. He fought through the Revo- 
lutionary War, and took part in several battles among them being Brandywine where 
he saw Lafayette wounded. He was in the seige of Yorktown and saw General O'Hara 
surrender the sword of Cornwallis. After the Revolution he married Dorcas James and 
settled at Horse Shoe, in the present county of Tucker. 




William C. Cbenoweth 1856 

Solnion C. Caplenger 1857 

Hoy McLean 1858 

Jacob Phares 1860 

Jesse F. Pheresf 1862 

John M. Phares ••'••. 1864 

Archibald Harper 1864 

Francis M. White 1870 

Lorenzo D. White 1872 

J. F. Harding.. 1876 

Jacob G. Ward 1880 

Z. T. Chenoweth* 1884 

Warwick Hutton 1888 

A. J. Long 1892 

Abel W. Hart 1896 


The county clerks were appointed by the county court from the form- 
ation of Randolph till the constitution of 1852 was adopted. The first clerk 
elected by the people was John W. Crawford, 1852. Following are the 
names of the clerks: 

John WilsonJ 1787 

Jacob Westfall 1793 

Archibald Earle 1810 

Daniel W. Shurtliff 1838 

John W. Crawford t 1845 

Squire BosworthJ 1858 

William Bennett]: 1861 

John B. Earle 1868 

John B. Morrison 1870 

James D. Wilson 1872 

Floyd Triplett 1890 

Lee Crouch 1896 


Signatures of Randolph's 
Circuit Clerks. 

The circuit court of the county, formerly 
sometimes called the superior court, has had 
clerks as follows: 

John Wilson 1809 

Archibald Earlel 1812 

E. D. Wilson 1842 

Bernard L. Brown 1849 

John B. Earle 1861 

Lorenzo D. White 1866 

Leland Kittle 1872 

John B. Morrison 1879 

W. H. Wilson 1885 


The actual work of surveying in the early years of Randolph as well as 
other parts of the State was nearly always done by deputies. The county 

'"'The election was contested. There had been no convention held, and two Demo- 
crats, Z. T. Chenoweth and Warwick Hutton, were candidates. On the face of the re- 
turns Chenoweth had 849 votes, and Hutton 84(3. Upon a recount the vote stood 848 
each, and the court decided in favor of Hutton. The case was carried to the supreme 
court where the decision was in favor of Chenoweth. At the next election Hutton was 
elected by a large majority. 

tJesse F. Phares was the first Sheriff of Eandolph under the Re-organized Govern- 
ment of Virginia. 

JHeld office twice. 

HDied 1841; was clerk twenty-nine years. 



was so large that no one person could attend to the work. Randolph's sur- 
veyors were as follows: 

Edward Jackson 1787 

Henry Jackson 1793 

Robert S. Shanklin 1809 

Thomas O. Williams* 1819 

Bernard L. Brown 1849 

Nicholas Marstiller 1852 

Milton Hart 1858 

Cyrus Kittle 1865 

Nicholas Marstillerf 1868 


The officers whose duty it has been to fix the valuation of property in 
Randolph County for purposes of taxation, have not been called by the same 
name at all times, nor have their duties been always the same. In early 
years they were known as Commissioners of Revenue, and of late years 
Assessors. A list follows of those who have filled the office in this county: 

John HaddanJ 1787 

John Jackson 1787 

Cornelius Bogard 1787 

John Wilson 1788 

Peter Cassity 1789 

Abraham Claypool 1789 

William Watnsley 1790 

Edward Jackson 1791 

Robert Clark! 1792 

William Wilson 1795 

James Bruff 1796 

George Rennix 1796 

Simon Reeder 1797 

St. Leger Stout 1800 

Asahel Heath 1801 

Nicholas Gibson 1809 

Isaac White 1809 

William Wilson . 1810 

John Crouch 1813 

John M. Hart 1814 

Ely Butcher 1815 

Robert S. Shanklin . . 1816 

Robert Chenoweth 1816 

John Currence 1817 

Andrew Crawford 1818 

George Wees|| 1819 

Adam Myres 1821 

George Stalnaker 1822 

Jacob Teter 1823 

Daniel Hart 1824 

Daniel Booth. 1825 

Isaac Taylor 1826 

Henry Martin 1827 

Levi Ward 1828 

—Michael See 1830 

Matthew Whitman 1831 

John Harris 1832 

George Nestor 1833 

Andrew Crawford 1834 

Peter Conrad 1835 

Brown Jenks 1836 

William Shaw 1837 

John Moore 1838 

William Marteney 1839 

Lair D. Morrell 1841 

^Jacob W. See 1842 

Bushrod W. Crawford 1843 

George McLean 1844 

Ely Baxter Butcher 1845 

George Wyatt 1846 

John Taylor 1848 

Absalom Crawford 1849 

-Charles C. See 1850 

Jacob Ward ; . 1851 

Parkison Collett 1856 

John B. Morrison 1858 

Jacob Phares 1860 

Squire B. Daniels 1861 

Archibald E. Harper 1861 

J. M. Curtis 1876 

Jasper W. Triplett 1880 

H H. Taylor 1880 

Abel W. Hart 1884 

French H. Kittle 1881 

Sheffey Taylor 1892 

William O. Triplett 1892 

*Wiiliams died 1849. 

tNicholas Marsteller was the son of the man of the same name who was surveyor in 1852. 
JThis name was sometimes spelled Hadden, but an early signature shows that he 
spelled his name Haddan. 

HThis name was sometimes spelled Clerk. 

||A signature on the old book shows that he spelled his name Waas. 




> «-"*!. 

JjiJU Ja/x*- — 4lon. o 

/qj^a^- fey** 


Signatures of Early Justices of tbe 

1820. Michael See 

1824. Jonas Crane 

1825. David Wiles, Robert McCrum. 

From the organization of Randolph until 
the adoption of the Constitution of 1852 Justices 
of the Peace were appointed by the Governor, 
and held office for life if they chose to do so. 
After 1852 they were elected. The following 
list shows the names of the Justices and the 
year when they first appeared on the records. 

1787. Jacob Westfall, Salathial Goff, Pat- 
rick Hamilton, John Wilson, Cornelius Westfall, 
Edward Jackson, Robert Maxwell, Peter Cas- 
sity, Cornelius Bogard, John Jackson, George 
Westfall, Henry Runyan, John Haddan, Jona- 
than Parsons, Uriah Gandy. 

1789. John Elliott, Abraham Claypool. 

1790. Jacob Westfall. 

1791. Abraham Kittle, Matthew Whitman, 
Terah Osborn, William Wilson, Jacob Polsley. 

1794. William Parsons. 

1795. Asahel Heath, John Pancake, John 
Currence, Jacob Kittle, Samuel Bonnifield. 

1797. William Seymour, William B.Wilson. 
1799. Simon Reeder, John Chenoweth, 
Nicholas Marstiller. 

1801. Isaac Booth. 

1802. Andrew Miller. 

1803. Joseph Long, Daniel 
Hoskins, John Hartley, John 
Barn house, Joseph Joseph. 

1804 Ebenezer Flanagan, Gilbert Boyles. 
1806. John Crouch, John Lamberton, Ben- 
jamin Hornbeck, Nicholas Gibson, Isaac Booth. 

1808. William Daniels, Jonathan Hutton, 
John Hart. 

1809. Isaac White, Andrew Crawford, 
George Parsons, Samuel Ball. 

1810. Matthew Hines, John Skidmore. 

1811. Nicholas Storm, Daniel Booth, Ben- 
jamin Riddle. 

1813. Zedekiah Morgan, Andrew Cross, 
George Wees, Jonathan Wamsley. 

1814. Isaac Greggory, Adam Myers, An- 
drew Friend, George Stalnaker, Robert S. 
Shanklin, Jacob Springstone, Levi Ward. 

1815. Hiram Goff, Robert Young, James 

1817. Ebenezer Leonard, Frederick Trout- 
wine, Jacob Teter. 
Isaac Taylor, William S. Wilson. 
Godfrey Hiller, Jonas Harman, John Harris. 

Clark, Barthan 
Sanders, John 


1830. Brown Jenks, David Goff, Joseph Hart, William Shaw, John 
Walker, William Huff, John Moore, Peter Conrad, George Nestor. 

1831. George See, Henry Sturm, Jacob See. 

1832. William McLain, Squire Bosworth, Jacob Keller, Ely Butcher, 
Andrew Miller, Robert N. Ball, John Wyatt, Joseph Roy, William P. Wil- 
son, Joseph Teter, Adam See. 

1835. Jacob Harper, John Phares, William Rowan, Adonijah B. Ward, 
Valentine Stalnaker, Lorentz Mitchell, Daniel W. Shurtliff, Jarrett John- 
son, Abraham Harding, Samuel Keller, Arnold Bonnineld, Isaac Roy, 
Thomas S. White, John Arbogast, Andrew M. Wamsley. 

1838. Lemuel Chenoweth, Job Parsons, Samuel Stalnaker, Samuel 
Elliott, Michael H. Neville, John W. Crawford. 

1839. Charles C. See, Francis D. Talbott. 

1841. John A. Hutton. 

1842. Noah E. Corley, George Buckey, William Phares, John Kelley, 
William Johnson, John W. Moore, John Taylor. 

1845. David Gilmore, Christian Simmons, Lenox M. Camden, Elijah 
Kittle, Archibald Chenoweth, Benjamin W. Kittle, Jacob Crouch, Abraham 

1848. Whitman Ward, Adam D. Caplinger, John W. Haigler, Harri- 
son W. Campbell, James W. Parsons, William Talbott, James Shreve, 
William G. Greggory, Harman Snyder, Thompson Elza. 

1852. Peter L. Lightner, Isaac G. Dodrill, William Hamilton, George 
W. Mills, Hezekiah Kittle, Henry Harper, William C. Chenoweth, Jacob 
Vanscoy, William R. Parsons, George H. Long, Nathaniel J. Lambert, 
Joseph White, James Vance, Jeremiah Lanham, James D. Simon, Absalom 

1854. Jacob H. Long, Henry C. Moore. 

1856. Jacob W. Marshall, Thomas B. Scott, Hamilton Stalnaker, 
Abraham Hutton, John A. Rowan, Edwin S. Talbott, Eli Kittle, Aaron 
Coberly, Arnold Wilmoth, Samuel Dinkle, Noah H. Harman, James Wil- 

1859. Asa Harman, Mathias C. Potts, Joseph J. Simmons. 

1860. Jacob Conrad, S. Salisbury, W. Wilson, Washington G. Ward, 
George Phillips, Wilson Osbom, Michael Yokum, William F. Corley, Wil- 
liam Raines, James H. Lambert, William Jordan, Elijah J. Nelson. 

1861. Jacob Daniels, Everett Chenoweth. 

1862. Henry H. Leigh, D. G. Adams. 

1867. Solomon S. Warner, James W. Dunnington, Charles Crouch, 
William Bennett, Patrick Durkin, Peleg C. Barlow. 

1869. Sampson Snyder, Reuben S. Butcher, John A. Vance, John A. 

1873. Jesse W. Goddin, J. Wood Price, Riley Pritt, George H. Phillip, 
Jacob C. Collett, Adam C. Currence, Emanuel White, Patrick Crickard, 
Leonard H. Schoonover. 

1876. George W. Yokum, Holman Pritt, Miles King, Joseph Bunner, 
J. W. Summerfield. 

1877. Alfred Hutton. 

1880. George Beatty, John Bunner, William H. Wilson, Z. T. Cheno- 
weth, J. W. Tyre, Jacob C. Harper, Randolph Triplett. 
1882. Adam H. Wamsley, Peter Crickard. 



1884. J. H. Dewitt, Melvin Currence, James L. Coff, John A. Hamil- 
ton, D. E. Coberly. 

1886. James Shannon. 

1888. William H. Grose, Adam C. Rowan, William M. Boyd, H. N. 
Bunner, Adam L. Findley. 

1890. Caleb White. 

1892. John R. Crickard, D. P. Harper, Job. W. Parsons, William 
Hamilton, James Coberly, J. J. Zickafoose, Lew Fahrion. 

1895. G. F. Sims. 

1896. B. Y. Cunningham, Floyd McDonald, W. A. Hornbeck, N. W. 
Talbott, A. Brandley, Page C. Marstiller, Peter Madden, W. Scott Wood- 
ford, W. S. Kelley, John W. Hartman, Elias Zickafoose. 


The prosecuting attorney, in former times, was appointed, and did not 
necessarily live in the county where he served. The same man sometimes 
was prosecutor in two or more counties at one time. Following are the 
names of the commonwealth's attorneys of Randolph: 

William McCleary : . . . . 1787 

Thomas Wilson 1791 

Maxwell Armstrong 1795 

-Adam See 1798 

William Tingle 1809 

Noah Linsley 1809 

Edwin S. Duncan* 1814 

Oliver Phelps 1817 

Phineas Chapin 1818 

John J. Allen 1820 

William McCord 1829 

Gideon D. Camden 1837 

—David Goff 1835 

John S. Huffman 1841 

Samuel Cranef 1852 

Joseph HartJ ^1862 

Nathan H. Taft 1862 

-•-Spencer Dayton 1863 

Gustavus Cresap 1867 

Thomas J. Arnold 1868 

Bernard L. Butcher! 1876 

Cyrus H. Scott 1880 

Jared L. Wamsley 1888 


Salathiel Goff 1787 

Cornelius Bogard 1787 

Robert Maxwell 1789 

Abraham Kittle 1792 

Simon Reeder 1796 

John.Chenoweth 1803 

Adam Stalnaker 1805 

William B. Wilson 1807 

CharlesMyers 1809 

John Stalnaker 1820 

Jacob Myers 1827 

William Rowan 1854 

— j.Lemuel Chenoweth 1855 

William C. Chenoweth 1873 

*Edwin S. Duncan, afterwards Judge Duncan, was from Harrison County. It is 
said that lie collected much of the data afterwards used by Alexander S. "Withers in the 
"Border Warfare. " Duncan and his elder half-brother, John J. Allen, were law partners. 
A story is told of them to the effect that they were employed in a large land suit at 
Clarksburg, and on the opposite side was a Virginia lawyer of much notriety at the time. 
Allen was a candidate for Congress and was very anxious to go out upon an electioneer- 
ing tour, but was afraid to entrust the land case to his younger and inexperienced brother. 
He therefore remained in Clarksburg for the trial. The evidence was submitted, and 
the Virginia lawyer began his address to the jury by quoting Shakespeare. He had not 
yet finished the quotation when Duncan leaned over and whispered to Allen, "You can 
go. I can manage any lawyer who will quote poetry to a jury in a land case." 

tThe first Trosecuting Attorney elected in Randolph. 

{Removed to Illinois. 

IIAfterwards State Superintendent of Schools. 




Solomon C. Caplinger 1880 

William M. Phares 1880 

Jacob S. Wamsley , 1880 

Omar Conrad 1884 

Jacob Vanscoy 188-1 

B. W. Crawford 1884 

George W. Yokum 1886 

Patrick Crickard 1886 

C. S. Armentrout 1888 

Jesse P. Phares 1890 

Jesse W. Goddin 1892 


Hugh Nelson 1809 

Daniel Smith .1811 

Richard H. Field* 1827 

Edwin S. Duncanf . . . 1831 

Allen Taylor:): 1832 

Edward JohnsonJ 1842 

George H. See 1848 

Gideon D. Camden 1851 

George W. Thompson || ...... 1853 

Matthew Edmiston|| 1854 

William L. j ackson= 1860 

William A. Harrison 1861 

Robert Irvine 1863 

Thomas W. Harrison 1867 

John Brannon 1872 

William T. Ice .' 1881 

R. F. Fleming** . 1882 

Joseph T. Hoke 1889 

George W. Lewis*** 1892 

C. W^DaileyV ......1893 

Thomas P. R. Brown*** 1894 

I— Samuel Woods*** 1896 • 

John Homer Holt 1897 




'&< crffitrtZt- 

pz'7 &£&?$% 

<u^g ^/c^y^S 

Signatures of Rpodolph's Circuit Court Judges. 

In the list of Constables which follows, no segregation with regard to 
districts 'is given. Formerly they were appointed by the county court. 
They depended upon fees for their pay, and the emoluments of the office 
were usually small. Their duty, so far as it went, was much the same as 

*Sitting for Judge Smith. 
tFirst Judge under the Constitution of 1880. 
JBy exchange with Judge Duncan . 
II By exchange with Judge Camden. 

=By exchange with Judge Camden. This was the Confederate general who attacked 
Beverly during the war. 
**Sitting for Judge Ice. 
***Sittlng for Judge Hoke. 


the duty of sheriff; but for the same work they received smaller fees. 
There always were persons willing to fill the office. Names of constables 

1787. Jacob Riffle, Michael Yokum, Thomas Holder, Jeremiah York, 
Jeremiah Cooper, Charles Falnash. 

1788. William Haddix, David Minear, Valentine Stalnaker, Jacob 

1794. William Clark, Henry Carr, Jacob Ward. 

1796. Jacob Springston, Henry Phillips. 

1797. John Runkins, Nicholas Smith, George Long, Matthew Wams- 

1798. John Phillips, Thomas Cade, Joseph Joseph, John Sanders. 

1799. Richard Ware, Daniel Canfield, Gilbert Bayles. 

1800. Peter Buckey, John Outright, John Hart, John Triplett. 

1803. William Daniels, Samuel Pierce, Richard Ware. 

1804. George Whitman, William Booth, William McCorkle. 

1805. Barthan Hoskins, John Hartley, John Spillman, John Beall. 

1809. George Stalnaker, John Chenoweth, William Steers, Edward 
Hart, William F. Wilson, William Stalnaker, James Holder, Alexander 

1810. Adonijah Ward, Samuel Burrett. 

1811. John Clark, John Miller, Joseph Roy, Nicholas Weatherholtz. 
1813. Jonathan Yeager, Levi Skidmore, John W. Stalnaker, William 

Kelley, Isaac Wamsley, Samuel Oliver, Isaac Stalnaker. 

1815. David Holder, Wilby Taylor, John Snyder, Jesse Cunningham, 
John Lynch, Abraham Bryant. 

1817. David Evans, Solomon Parsons, Isaac Post, Adam Lough, John 

1818. Thomas Wamsley, Jonas Harman, Samuel Wyatt, Moses Phillips. 

1819. Solomon Yeager, James Teter, Jesse Bennett, John Long, 
Joseph Walker. 

1821. Robert N. Ball, Henry Sturm, Henry Cunning, Thomas W. 

1823. William H. Crawford, Jesse Coberly, Enoch Minear, Abraham 
Wolford, Hugh Dailey, James Turner, Noah E. Corley. 

1825. Elisha Poling, George Harris, Benjamin Johnson, Isaac B. Marsh. 

1827. Absalom Wilmoth, William Wamsley, Jacob Kelley, Benjamin 
P. Marsh, John Taylor, William G. Gilmore. 

1829. John W. Crawford, Eli Walker, Jacob Teter, Abraham Bowman, 
Edmund S. Wyatt, Thomas Byrd, Washington Taylor, Joshua Glascock. 

1831. Burwell Butcher, Oliver E. Doinire, Joseph Shaw, William 
Marsh, John Stout, William Rowan, William Pickens, Absalom Hinkle. 

1832. John Conrad, John Phares, Samuel Keller. 

1833. Edward Stalnaker, Daniel W. Shurtliff, James W. Corley, John 
P. Gray, Jesse Day, Levi Jenks, Arnold Bonuifield. 

1836. Andrew M. Wamsley, William Wamsley, Thomas Phillips, John 

1837. Lair D. Morrell, Garrett Johnson, Absalom Harden, David Gil- 
more, James Vance, Thomas S. White, Joseph J. Simmons, John M. Crouch. 

*As in all other lists of officers in this book, the name appears but once, although the 
person may have held the office several times. The date given is the year when he first 
entered the office. 


1838. Adam H. Bowman, William Simpson, Bushrod W. Crawford, 
Archibald Coyner. 

1839. Isaac White, Elias Alexander, Lewis Gilmore, John C. Wamsley. 

1841. William Wilmoth, G-arretson Stalnaker, Francis J. Holder, John 
Tygart, Jesse Roy, John Arbogast, Jacob Conrad, Abraham Crouch. 

1842. William W. Parsons, Samuel Wamsley, John M. Phares, Israel 
Coffman, Flavius J. Holder, Francis O. Shurtliff, James R. Parsons, Benja- 
min Kittle, Henry V. Bowman. 

1845. Matthew W. Brady, Milton Hart, Michael Yokum, John Q. 

1847. William Currence, Michael Walters, Samuel P. Wallace, Job 
Parsons, Jr. , James Long, Elias Wyatt, Washington Roy. 

1848. Thomas James, George W. Mills, Cyrus Kittle, 

1849. Allen J. Currence, John W. Adams, Solomon C. Caplinger, 
W. H. Coberly, Samuel P. Wilson, Aaron Bell. 

1851. Peter H. Ward, William Rains.* 

1852. Hugh S. Hart, Melvine Currence, Moses J. Phillijjs, Samuel P. 
Dinkle, Isaac Roy, Samuel Bonnifield. f 

1854. Jacob Currence, Isaac Wilmoth, Parkison Collett, Jesse Parsons, 
David O. Wilson. 

1855. Alfred Taylor, Washington Stalnaker, George W. Rowan. 

1856. Michael Magee, Patrick Crickard, Powhatan A. Tolly, 
1858. Levi White, Squire Daniels. 

1860. Thomas J. Powers, Henry J. White, Patrick Durkin, Edward 
Grim, O. C. Stalnaker. 

1867. Sampson F. Shiflett, William 0. Ferguson, William H. Quick, 
Andrew J. Wilmoth, James A. Hicks, W. K. Herren, John Snider, John 

1869. Daniel Cooper, Granger Lamb, Montgomery G. Mathews, James 

1870. John McGillivany. 

[There is a gap of six years in the records which show the election of 


1876. S. Tyre, E. O. Goddin, George W. Phares, John Pritt, Jasper 
Bolton, W. D. Currence, A. J. Wilmoth, Caleb White, A. J. Bennett, James 
S. Hutton. 

1884. French H. Kittle, Lee Yokum, James R. McCallum, P. B. Con- 
rad, A. B. Mouse, J. A. Cunningham, John J. Nallen, John W. Hartman. 

1885. Creed L. Earle, R. L. Pritt. 

1888. Page C. Daniels, R. G. Thorn, Charles W. Channell, Gideon M. 
Outright, Hamilton Markley, Hyre A. Stalnaker, A. H. Summerfield, George 
W. Stalnaker. 

1892. Lloyd D. Collett, J. H. Currence, Elam E. Taylor, W. D. Cur- 
rence, C. C. Crickard, L. W. McQuain, William Snyder, Patrick Phillips. 

1894. R. T. Hedges, Page C. Marstiller. 

1896. R. C. Sassi, Daniel Cooper, Frank Shoemaker, James Brady, 
Oliver Daniels, A. B. Coberly, E. E. Taylor, N. B. Hutton. 

*Following the year 1851, the constables were elected; before that they were ap- 

tGrandson of Samuel Bonnifield who was justice in 1795. 



The statistics of early schools in Randolph County are meager. Almost 
nothing exists, except the occasional mention of the appointment or elec- 
tion of school commissioners, and occassional reference to a superintendent. 
In a former chapter of this book may be found an account of the rise and 
growth of the free school idea in Virginia, and the poor showing in com- 
parison with conditions in other States. A list of the Superintendents of 
schools in Randolph County follows: 

David Goff 1853 

William P. Corley 1865 

Squire B. Hart 1867 

Jacob J. Hill 1863 

J. W. Price 1872 

Alonzo P. Wilmoth 1875 

A. S. Bosworth 1877 

Blain W. Taylor 1881 

P. P. Madden : 1885 

C. S. Moore, 1887 

D. A. Hamrich 1889 

S. L. Hogan 1891 

H S. Whetsell 1893 

W. T. Woodyard 1895 


In the first fifty years of Randolph County's history, only fifty-six 
wills were recorded. The estates were usually small, few of them exceeding 
three thousand dollars in value. Interesting points of local history, senti- 
ment and custom are often found in those old documents. Some of them 
are written by lawyers and are in the formal phraseology of the profession, 
while others show the uncultivated, native simplicity of the man who 
writes his last will and testament. The first will recorded in the county is 
to the point. It was written by Andrew McMullen June 21, 1786. He had 
little money or worldly goods to dispose of, but he wanted to leave the 
little he had without room for disputes. The document is as follows: 

"In the name of God, Amen. I, Andrew McMullen, of the county of Harrison, and 
State of Virginia, being weak of body, but of perfect mind and memory, do make this 
my last will and testament in manner and form following: That is to say that it is my 
desire, after my decease, that I be decently buried agreeable to my circumstances, out 
of what little I leave behind; and as my affairs are in a very scattered condition at pres- 
ent, owing to my by-past troubles, I therefore nominate and appoint Robert Maxwell as 
my executor to seek into and examine what trifles are mine, and goods likewise. When 
I was at Uriah Gaudy's, I lent him two pounds five shillings cash, and gave him an order 
for a great coat of mine at Thomas Goff 's tailor, and a dollar to pay for the making of it; 
and I gave him my note, as I got his gun by way of loan. But at the time I was at his 
house I was not right in my head as I ought to have been, and I know not what way the 
note or anything else was; but I hope he will do justice as a Christian. And his gun he can 
have again: and what service he did for me, I hope he will be paid out of what he owes 
me. And for what orders I gave or sent Mr. James Cunningham and Mr. William Cun- 
ningham, about getting my traps and other things, I hope they give them up to Robert 
Maxwell as I have appointed him to settle my affairs. And I do acknowledge this and 
no other to be my last will aud testament; as witness my hand and seal this 21st day of 
June, 1786. 

"Andrew McMullen. 

"Witness: James Taflee and Joseph Friend." 

The following will, recorded in 1804, is very brief and to the point. 
It was evidently dictated or written by a very sick man. 

"Whereas, I, Vincent Marsh, am going to depart this life. I am in my proper senses. 
I leave my soul to God and my body to the mother earth to be hurried in a decent man- 
ner. I leave the money which is in Ezekiel Marsh's hands, to my Aunt Darkey Bonni- 
field, and Elizabeth Daniels, my mother, to be equally divided between the two. 

Vincent Maksh. 

"Witness: Sarah Bonnifleld and Mary Loughery." 



A list of all the wills recorded in Randolph County before 1837 will be 
found in the following table, with name of testator and date of record: 

Andrew McMullen 1788 

George Ward 1791 

David Haddan 1791 

Jacob Stalnaker 1791 

John Miller 1794 

Jeremiah Channel 1797 

Raphael Warthan 1798 

Catharine Carlick 1801 

Thomas White 1802 

Josiah Westfall 1802 

John Hardan 1803 

Vincent Marsh 1804 

St. Leger Stout 1806 

Thomas Phillips 1806 

Henry Mace 1807 

Mary Ann Marteney. 1809 

Thomas Holder 1810 

Edward Hart .....1811 

Charles Myers 1812 

Abraham Kittle 1813 

Adam Stalnaker 1814 

Jacob Helmick 1815 

John Phillips 1815 

Isaac Kittle 1816 

Ebenezer Kelley 1816 

Isaac Bond 1818 

Hezekiah Rosencranz 1819 

Martin C. Poling . . .1819 

Martin Poling 1820 

James McLain 1820 

George Mitchell 1822 

Robert Phares 1823 

Elias Alexander 1825 

Boston Stalnaker 1826 

Jacob Wees 1826 

Samuel Bonnifield 1826 

Benjamin Hornbeck 1827 

Joseph Summeriield 1828 

Frederick Troutwine 1829 

William Parsons 1829 

Joseph Pinnell 1831 

John Rush 1831 

Rinehart Domire * 1831 

Richard Kittle 1831 

John Chenoweth 1831 

Joseph Pitman 1832 

Sarah Bond 1832 

Jacob Wees 1832 

Jacob Stagle 1832 

James McClurg 1833 

Valentine Stalnaker . . 1833 

Henry Petro . 1834 

John Light . . .1834 

Richard Ware 1834 

Isaac Poling 1834 

Gilbert Boyle . 1835 
Solomon Collett . 1836 

Matthew Whitman 1836 


Since the county was organized in 1787. the records show that 209 law- 
yers have been admitted to practice at the Randolph bar. About one half 
of them were residents of the county; the others visited the Beverly courts 
as business called them. The list shows the names of several who achieved 
reputations extending beyond the State. The bar has at all times been able, 
and law business in Randolph has been sufficiently large to attract talented 

*This name was originally spelled Toomire in Randolph County, and occasionally 
Doumire. The family came from Germany, but the name is believed to be French. 
DuMire, it is said, meant "Seafaring." It is known that the Domires were sailors, and 
Rinehart Domire had a record for adventure comparing favorably with the old naviga- 
tors. He was born 1765, in Germany, and before he was thirty-four years old he had dou- 
bled the Cape of Good Hope six times; had cruised among the South Sea Islands, had vis- 
ited China three times, and had spent nine years with whaling fleets in the Arctic 
Ocean. He then came to America, and about 1800 settled at Stemple Ridge, in the 
present county of Preston. Later he removed to Randolph, in that part which is now 
Tucker County, and there lived and died, leaving many descendants who still live in this 
and adjoining states. 



attorneys from elsewhere. Following is a list of lawyers, 
when the name of each first appeared on the court records: 

with the date 

William McCleary 1787 

Alexander Addison 1787 

Maxwell Armstrong 1790 

s* Adam See 1793 

Francis Brook 1793 

Isaac White Williams 1794 

Gilbert Christie 1795 

Patrick Hendrin 1797 

Nathaniel Davisson 1798 

Christopher Lamberton 1801 

John G. Jackson 1801 

Isaac Morris 1802 

James Wilson 1803 

James Evans 1803 

John M. Smith 1804 

William Tingle 1805 

George C. Davisson 1807 

Samuel McMeechen 1809 

Nathaniel Pendleton'. 1809 

Noah Lindsey 1809 

--Philip Doddridge* 1809 

William G. Payne ._ 1809 

George I. Davisson 1809 

William Parinlaw 1810 

Oliver Phelps 1810 

Lemuel E. Davisson 1810 

Edwin S. Duncan 1811 

Jonathan J ackson || 1813 

James Gilmore 1813 

William Colwell 1814 

Thomas Wilson 1815 

James McCally 1815 

Marmaduke Evans 1815 

James McGee 1815 

John Brown 1817 

Phineas Chapin 1818 

Thomas C. Gordon 1820 

John J. Allen 1820 

Jefferson Phelps 1822 

Lewis Maxwell f 1822 

John Ramsell 1823 

Daniel G. Morrell 1823 

George C. Baxter 1823 

William L. Jackson . . 1824 

Edgar C. Wilson .. 1825 

George J. Wilson 1825 

Joseph Lovell 1827 

Solomon Wyatt 1827 

^ Blake B. Woodson 1827 

"Reuben W. Short 1827 

^Gideon D. Camden 1828 

Augustine L. Smith . 1828 

W. W. Chapman 1828 

W. G. Brown*]" [ 1829 

W. G. Naylor 1829 

James H. Craven 1829 

William C. Haymond§ 1830 

William R. Crane 1830 

Frederick M. Wilson 1830 

William A. Harrison 1832 

George H. Lee 1832 

Beverly H. Lurty 1832 

Charles McClure 1832 

Robert Wallace 1832 

Leroy E. Gaston 1833 

Burton A. Despard 1834 

John G. Stringer 1834 

Cabell Tavener 1834 

^.David Goff 1834 

Thomas Brown 1835 

William McKinley 1836 

Hyre Jackson 1836 

Joseph Hart 1837 

Wesley C. Kemp 1838 

.jtJohn S. Carlilefj 1840 

Matthew Edmiston 1840 

Bernard L. Brown 1840 

John L. Duncan 1841 

Richard M. Whiting 1841 

James M. Jackson 1841 

Edgar M. Davisson 1842 

John D. Stephenson 1842 

* Author of •' Doddridge's Notes on Virginia." 

|| Father of -'Stonewall " Jackson. 

t Member of Congress from the district including Randolph. 

IIAfterwards member of Congress. 

^Father of Creed Raymond, the well known California lawyer. 

X {Afterwards in the United States Senate. 



Charles A. Harper .1843 

-Alphus F. Haymond 1843 

Uriel M. Turner 1843 

Preston W. Adams 1844 

Edwin L. Hewitt .....1844 

Benjamin F. Myers 1845 

Samuel Crane 1847 

Caleb Boggess 1847 

Jonathan Koiner 1847 

Phillip M. Morrill 1847 

Jonathan M. Bennett* 1847 

Joseph C. Spalding 1848 

-Nathan H. Taft 1848 

Benjamin Wilsonf 1850 

Philip Williams 1851 

Daniel A. Stofer 1852 

John N. Hughes 1852 

Edwin Maxwell 1852 

William H. Ferrill 1853 

Thomas A. Bradford 1853 

Samuel Woods 1853 

Charles Hooton 1853 

George W. Lurty 1854 

James Bennett 1855 

Edgar M. Williams 1855 

Claudius Goff 1856 

David M. Auvil 1856 

David H. Lilly 1858 

Thomas B. Rummell 1858 

John W. Barton 1858 

William H. Gibson 1858 

John W. Crawford 1859 

Charles W. Cooper 1859 

William Ewin 1859 

John Keranans 1860 

Spencer Dayton 1863 

Thomas J. Arnold 1863 

C. J. P. Cresap 1863 

Charles J. Pindall 1893 

Joseph Thompson 1863 

Fontain Smith 1864 

James W. Dunnins'ton 1866 

W. C. Carper 1866 

Cyrus Kittle 1866 

Willis J. Drummond 1866 

Charles S. Lewis 1866 

James M. Seig 1867 

Alexander M. Poundstone- - •■•'■'• 1867 

John L. Hoffman 1870 

Lorenzo D. Strader 1870 

Thomas R. R. Brown 1873 

A. G. Reger . 1873- 

E. T. Jones 1873 

Stark W. Arnold.. 1873- 

Gustavus Cresap 1873 

Adonijah B. Parsons . . ..1873 

J. L. Hall 1873 

W. G. L. Totten 1873 

C. C. Higginbotham 1873 

Jasper N. Hall 1875- 

Henry Brannon 1875 

Bernard L. Butcher 1876 

William T. Ice 1"876« 

W. B. Maxwell 1876 

Philetus Lipscomb 1877 

Shelton Lake Reger 1877- 

William L Kay 1878 

Alston G. Dayton f 1879 • 

Cyrus H. Scott 1879 

A. C. Bowman 1880 

Leland Kittle 1880 

H. C. Thurmond 1880 

B. F. Martinf 1881 

William G. Brown 1881- 

John W. Mason 1881 

W. W. Haden 1881 

John E. Wood 1881 

R. S. Turk 1881 

John Bayles Ward 1881 

A. S. Bosworth 1882" 

L. S. Auvil 1883 

Frank Woods 1884. 

William E. Clark 1884 

E. D. Talbotf. 1884 

James A. Bent 1884 

Jared L. Wamsley 1884 

J. F. Harding 1885 

S. M. Reynolds 1885 

H. N. Ogden 1887 

A. Jay Valentine 1887 

W. C. Clayton 1887 

Charles W. Russell 1888 

Melville Peck 1888 ■ 

C. W. Dailey 1890 

Charles W. Lynch 1890 

*Afterwards Auditor of Virginia. 
fAf terwards member of Congress. 



W. G. Wilson 1893 

George B. Scott 1893 

George M. Curtis 1893 

A. M. Cunningham 1893 

W. T. Woodyard 1893 

Andrew Price 1894 

Henry C. Ferry 1895 

W. H. Baker 1895 

Lew Greynolds 1895 

Judson Floyd Strader 1896 

William E. Baker 1896 

H. E. Wilmoth 1896 

W. B. Kittle 1896 

C. W. Harding 1897 

Malcolm Jackson 1897 

J. N. McMullen 1897 

E. P. Durkin 1897 

George B. Scott 1897 

J. C. McWhorter 1897 

W. T. George 1897 

C. P. Guard 1897 

B. F. Bailey 1897 

S. H. Sommerville 1897 

W. T. Ice, jr 1898 

C. W. Maxwell 1898 


From 1866 to 1872 the affairs of the county were managed by a Board 
of Supervisors, sitting as a court, and having the general powers of the 
county courts which were in existence both before and after that time. Fol- 
lowing are the names of the supervisors and the dates of their entering 

1866. Elijah Kittle, John K. Scott, John M. Haney, John M. Crouch, 
John A. Hutton, Powhatan A. Tolly, Sampson Snider, Elijah M. Hart, 
Charles W. Burk, William Rowan, James H. Lambert. 

1867. Benjamin F. Wilmoth, William D Armstrong, Orlando Wool- 
wine, George Buckey, Crawford Scott, Oliver Wilmoth, A. E. Harper. 

1869. Samuel Tyre, Eli Kittle, Riley Pritt, A. J. Swecker, Melvin 
Currence, John W. Phares, Jacob Vanscoy, Elijah Cooper. 
1871. John Cain, Adam Yokum. 


After the Close of the Civil War sympathizers with the South, and par- 
ticularly those who had actively supported the Southern Confederacy, were 
disfranchised in the Southern States. As nearly as can be estimated from 
the records of the Board of Registration, one-third of the voters of Ran- 
dolph County were disfranchised, from first to last; but while some names 
were being scratched from the lists of voters others were being re-instated, 
so that one-third of the names were never off the books at one time. Gov- 
ernor Stevenson commissioned Willis J. Drummond, Cyrus Kittle and Elijah 
M. Hart a Board of Registration for Randolph County, and they held their 
first meeting March 21, 1866, in Beverly, and appointed the following per- 
sons as registrars to make lists of the voters: In Clay Township, James 
Wilmoth; Green Township, O. C. Stalnaker; Beverly Township, C. W. 
Hart; Clark Township, John M. Crouch; Reynolds Township, Squire B. 
Hart; Scott Township, Jefferson Scott; Dry Fork Township, Sampson 
Snider. No one was appointed in Mingo or Union Townships. The regis- 
trars compiled lists of the voters in the townships, and in June, 1866, the 
Board of Registration met to examine the lists and to strike off the names 
of persons who could not prove that they had been loyal to the United 
States Government. Witnesses were subpoenaed and the trial for disloy- 
alty was conducted as a court would conduct a trial for a misdemeanor or a 
felony. The first to be put on trial was William Apperson, who, failing to 


prove his loyalty, was disfranchised. Many other trials followed. About 
one-half of those brought to trial were disfranchised. Several whose names 
were scratched from the list of voters subsequently were re-instated upon 
furnishing satisfactory proof of loyalty. 

In May, 1867, another meeting of the Board of Registration was held, 
and the following persons were present as witnesses: James Vanscoy, 
Henry P. Kittle, William M. Phares, Aaron Workman, A. E. Harper, Levi 
Ward, George W. Barrett, Edward Madden, William Piercy, Mary E. 
Buckey, Benjamin Phares, A. C. Currence, James Ryan, Jonathan Daniels, 
Jacob Daniels, Hamilton Daniels, John Pritt, Lorenzo Denton, Elizabeth 
Earle, John B. Earle, Catherine Phares. After ' several days' session, the 
Board ordered 189 names struck from the list of voters; in Union Township, 
25; Scott, 3; Mingo, 44; Green, 23; Clark, 20, Reynolds, 31; Beverly, 43. 
Sampson Snider, of Dry Pork, a member of the Board, objected to the dis- 
franchisment of many of the men whose names were struck from the list of 
voters, but he was overruled by the other members. Thereupon he wrote 
the following protest and asked that it be placed on record, which was done: 
I, Sampson Snider, am willing to receive all the parties that was examined in my 
presence during this seting in Green, Clark, Reynolds and Beverly, as qualified voters. 
I protest against any being stricken .from those lists who were examined in my presence. 

"Signed, Sampson Snider." 

Cyrus Kittle was then clerk of the Board, and having been overruled in 
his objection to Mr. Snider 's protest going on record, he made the follow- 
ing entry just below it: 

"test verbatin et Literatin Cyrus Kittle Clerk" 

In September, 1867, David Goff asked to be registered in accordance 
with the President's proclamation, but the Board refused to do so. The 
number struck from the lists at the September meeting was about equal 
to the number disfranchised at the proceeding meeting in May. Twenty- 
one witnesses were called at the September meeting. A new board was ap- 
pointed by the Governor in July, 1868, as follows: Jas. Ryan, Jno. M. Crouch, 
W. G. Corrick. They appointed registrars in the township. Beverly, Jud- 
son B. Harper; Reynolds, J. C. Marteney; Mingo, Solomon Parsons; Clark, 
A. C. Currence; Scott, Jefferson Scott; Union, John M. Haney; Green, J. 
M. Curtis; Dry Fork, John Snider; Clay, Benjamin F. Lee. The next year, 
1869, the only change made was the appointment of Thomas R. Williams, 
in place of Curtis in Green township, and Nicholas F. Butcher in place of 
Lee, in Clay. In December, 1868, a new Board of Registration was ap- 
pointed by the Governor. Corrick remained in office, but Jacob Piercy and 
Jacob Morgan were substituted for Crouch and Ryan. The next year, 1869, 
Zebulon Stalnaker became a member of the Board. On October 5, 1870, the 
Board adjourned forever. 

First Court'House built in Randolph County, 




The first armed encounter between the Union and Confederate forces 
in Randolph County took place at Middle Fork Bridge near the boundary 
between Randolph and Upshur Counties, July 6, 1861. In former chapters 
of this book a synopsis of events connected with the war in this part of 
West Virginia is given, and need not be repeated; but of such occurrences 
as affected Randolph County particularly, a fuller account will now be 
given. * Confederates under Porterfield had fallen back from Grafton to 
Philippi, at which place on June 3, 1861, they had been attacked and de- 
feated by Colonel Kelly, whose force was about four times that of the 
Confederates. Colonel Porterfield retreated into Randolph County, and the 
Confederate Government sent General R. S. Garnett to supersede him. 
Reinforcements were hurried across the mountains, and by July 11 there 
were about 6000 Confederates in Randolph. They had two fortified camps, 
one at Rich Mountain, or rather at the western base of the mountain; the 
other at Laurel Hill, where the pike from Beverly to Philippi crosses that 
range. Colonel John Pegraru was in command of 1300 men at Rich Moun- 
tain, and General Garnett was at Laural Hill with about 4500. There were 
troops stationed at other points in the rear of the two principal positions, 
and they will be spoken of again when they appear on the scene of action. 
For the dislodgment of the Confederates, General McClellan maneuvered 
20,000 Union troops. An advance was made by two divisions, one under 
General Thomas A. Morris, from Philippi, against Laurel Hill; the other 
under McClellan, by way of Buckhannon, against Rich Mountain. In ad- 
dition to these there were troops along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
from Parkersburg to Cumberland. McClellan believed that Garnett had 
10,000 men, but Garnett really had fewer than 6000 to defend both Rich 
Mountain and Laurel Hill, although there were others in the rear which 
did not take part in the fighting. Having outlined the positions of the two 
armies early in July, it now remains to speak of the movements and results. 

On July 6, McClellan was at Buckhannon. On that day he sent a dis- 
patch to Washington, saying that his troops would advance at four o'clock 
the next morning to drive the Confederates from Middle Fork Bridge, and 
he expected to be there himself during the day. The Confederates at the 
bridge were only a picket post placed there by Pegram to give notice of 
the first Union advance toward Rich Mountain. On the same day General 
Morris was ordered to advance from Philippi toward Laurel Hill. McClellan 

*This chapter deals with the campaigns in their general aspect, and does not enter 
into personal adventures and reminiscences. These will be spoken of in other parts of 
this book. 


said that within three or four days he expected to fight a battle and drive 
the Confederates over the mountain towards Staunton. The first movement 
of the Federal troops was a blunder. On the 6th, without McClellan's 
knowledge, a scouting party were sent up the pike from Buckhannon toward 
Beverly. They ran into the picket at Middle Pork Bridge and were driven 
back with a loss of one killed and five wounded. The next day a stronger 
force was sent from Buckhannon under Colonel R. L. McCook, and the 
Confederates were driven from Middle Pork Bridge, and McClellan moved 
his headquarters to that place. It is worthy of note, showing how little 
was understood of the magnitude of the war at that time, that McClellan 
wrote to General Scott on July 7, that with 10,000 troops in Eastern Ten- 
nessee, in addition to what he had in West Virginia, he could "crush the 
backbone of secession." At that verv time McClellan did not know where 
he was to go after occu pying Beverly; and General Scott did not know. 
No plan was formed. McClellan asked if be should march to Staunton or 
Wytheville, and General Scott told him to take whatever route he pleased. 

Leaving McClellan at Middle Pork Bridge, within twelve miles of the 
Confederate position on Rich Mountain, July 7, it is necessary to turn aside 
to consider the movement through Barbour County. General Morris was 
ordered to advance on July 7, from Philippi to Belington and make a feint 
of attacking Garnett's camp on Laurel Hill. The Federal and Confederate 
forces confronting each other there were about equal. General Morris was 
not expected to fight a battle, but was to skirmish, and occupy the enemy 
on Laurel Hill and lead them to believe that the principal attack was to be 
made on them, but the plan was to attack Rich Mountain, capture it, push 
to Beverly, and then fall in the rear of Garnett and cut off his retreat south 
over the Staunton and Parkersburg pike; and compel him to surrender. 
General Morris was uneasy at Philippi. He feared that Garnett would ad- 
vance and defeat him. It was reported and believed that the Confederates 
at Laural Hill numbered 8000. Morris with 4000 feared the result of an 
encounter. On July 2d he wrote to McClellan and asked for reinforcements. 
This brought a reply from McClellan the next day in which he used the 
followig language: 

"I propose taking the really difficult and dangerous part of this work on my own 
nands * * * But let us understand each other. I can give you no more reinforce- 
ments. I cannot consent to weaken any further the really active and important column 
which is to decide the fate of the campaign, ff you cannot undertake the defense of 
Philippi with the force now under your control, I must find some one who will. Do not 
ask for further reinforcements. If you do I shall take it as a request to be relieved from 
your command and to return to Indiana. I have spoken plainly. I speak officially. The 
crisis is a grave one, and I must have generals under me who are willing to risk as much 
as I am. Let this be the last of it."* 

It is the opinion of some military men that General Morris was the 
wiser of the two in this particular. General J. D. Cox writing of it 
years afterwards f said that, if Garnett had been as strong as McClellan be- 
lieved him to be, there was nothing to prevent him from overpowering 
Morris at Belington; and when that was done the road to Clarksburg would 
be open and there would have been a race between him and McClellan 
which could get there first. Taking this view of the case, it was Morris, 

* "Records of the Rebellion. " 

t "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." 


and not McClellan, who was conducting the really important movement. 
The words of McClellan that he was taking the "difficult and dangerous" 
work sound strange in view of the well-known fact that when the battle 
was fought on Rich Mountain, McClellan took little more part in it than if 
he had been a hundred miles away. General Rosecrans did the hard 
marching and all the fighting; and although the roar of the cannon was heard 
three hours on the mountain, and it was plain Rosecrans was hotly engaged, 
McClellan did nothing, to help him, and remained out of reach until he 
heard that the Rebels had retreated. But that will be given in detail in 
future pages. The advance of Morris to Belington and the fight there will 
now be considered. 

On July 8, General Morris skirmished with the outposts of the Confed- 
erates in the woods back of Belington, within sight of General Garnett's 
camp on Laurel Hill. The Confederates held the woods and an attempt on 
the part of the Federals to drive them out failed, with a loss of four killed 
and six wounded on the Union side. The Federals threw shells into the 
woods, but without results. Late in the evening of July 8, the Confederates 
withdrew from the woods back of Belington and returned to their camp on 
Laurel Hill. During the four following days Morris and Garnett faced each 
other, without much fighting. The Federals were performing their work, 
that is, they were attracting the attention of Garnett while the real attack 
was being made fifteen miles distant at Rich Mountain. 

On the evening of July 9, McClellan arrived at Roaring Creek, two 
miles from the base of Rich Mountain. The Confederates had destroyed 
the bridge over the creek, but that had little effect in checking the Federals. 
This was two miles from Colonel Pegram's position. On July 10 a strong 
reconnaissance was made by Lieutenant Poe within two hundred yards of 
the fort, resulting in the killing of one and the wounding of another Fed- 
eral. The dense thickets with which the Confederate works were sur- 
rounded prevented the attainment of satisfactory information. The obser- 
vations, however, served to convince McClellan that the works could not 
be easily carried by direct assault in front, and he laid plans for throwing 
a force in the rear, if any road could be found. However, that he might be 
prepared to attack in the front also, he ordered Lieutenant Poe to cut a 
road to the top of a ridge which would command the Confederate fort, and 
to plant artillery there. Poe proceeded to cut the road and was fired upon 
by the Rebels, but he cleared the ground ready for cannon, which for some 
unexplained cause, McClellan never sent, but which he was preparing to 
send when he learned that the battle was over. Inasmuch as General 
Rosecrans did the fighting, the best account of the battle, on the Union 
side, is contained in his official report. When it was decided that a flank 
movement should be made, arrangements were commenced for carrying 
it into execution. About 10 o'clock on the night of July 10, a young man 
named David Hart, whose father, Joseph Hart, lived on the summit of Rich 
Mountain, a mile and a half in the rear of the Confederate camp, came to 
Rosecrans and offered to pilot troops through the woods, by a circuit of 
from eight to ten miles, to his father's farm, from which point Colonel 
Pegram could be attacked in the rear. The plan was talked over between 
Rosecrans and McClellan, and was decided upon. Rosecrans was given 
1917 men with which to execute the movement. The proposed route lay 
south of the pike. The start was made at three o'clock in the morning of 



July 11, the men being supplied with rations for one day. 
crans says: 

General Rose- 

The Looe Tree. 

"Colonel Lander,* accompanied by the guide, led the 
way through a pathless forest, over rocks and ravines, 
keeping far down to the southeastern declevities of the 
mountain spurs, and using no ax, to avoid discovery by the 
enemy, who we supposed would be on the alert by reason 
of the unusual stir in our camp. A rain set in about 6 a.m., 
and lasted till 11 o'clock, with intermissions, during which 
the column pushed cautiously and steadily forward, and 
arrived at last and halted in rear of the crest on the top 
of Rich Mountain.t Hungry and weary with an eight 
hours' march over a most unkindly road, they law down 
to rest. It was found that the guide was too much scared 
to be with us longer, and we had another valley to cross, 
another hill to climb, another descent beyond that to 
make, before we could reach the Beverly road at the top 
of the mountain. On this road we started at two o'clock 
and reached the top of the mountain after the loss of 
an hours' time. Shortly after passing over the crest of 

the hill, the head of the column was tired on by the enemy's pickets, killing Sergeant 
James A. Taggart and wounding Captain Christopher Miller.J The column then ad- 
vanced through dense brushwood, emerging into more open woods, when the Rebels 
opened a lire of both musketry and a 6-pounder. * * * After an advance of fifty 
yards and some heavy firing from our line the enemy showed signs of yielding, and I gave 
orders to charge. Seven companies deployed into line and delivered two splendid volleys, 
when the enemy broke. The battle was over; two pieces of cannon were taken, and the 
dead and wounded were scattered over the hillside, 'i 

Rosecrans was ordered by McClellan to send a messenger every hour 
during the march up the mountain. He did so, but a messenger sent about 
noon lost his way and was captured by the Confederates who learned from 
him of the flank movement, and had time to send 310 men and one 6-pounder 
to Hart's house on top of the mountain, and they were there waiting the 
approach of the Federals, and opened fire the instant they came in sight. 
The fight was a much more stubborn one than would be inferred from Rose- 

*CoFonel, afterwards General, Lauder, died a year and a half later at Pawpaw, Mor- 
gan County, just after he had succeeded in so maneuvering a force in Hampshire County 
as to cause the Confederate Government to withdraw its army from Romney, contrary 
to the advice of Stonewall Jackson, who was so provoked that he resigned from the Con- 
federate army (January 31, 1862), and asked for a position as teacher in the Virginia 
Military Institute. At the earnest entreaty of Governor Letcher, Jackson remained 
with the army; but the lesson taught the Confederate Secretary of War never again to 
interfere with Jackson's plans. 

tThis halt was made at "Lone Tree." The "valley to cross" and the "hill to climb" 
were small affairs, as the crest of the mountain which the troops followed is compara- 
tively level, and by no means difficult. "Lone Tree" is 570 feet higher than the battle- 
field, a little more than a mile distant. 

% The Confederate pickets first fired into the Federals about half way between the 
Lone Tree and the battlefield, or half a mile from the latter place. After firing once, 
the Confederate pickets fell back, and the Union forces advanced and the battle began 
soon after. 

§When the battle began several Confederates took shelter in Hart's house, but the 
Federal bullets came through the windows and drove them out. The house, still stand- 
ing, is of logs, and has many bullets in the walls, and bullet holes are seen in the parti- 
tions between the rooms. A Confederate who was trying to shelter himself in a far 
corner of an upstairs room was killed by a bullet which came through the win- 
dow and passed through a partition. The hole is there yet. Dead and wounded were 
carried into the house, and up stairs. Bloodstains on the floor and on the stairway are 
seen to this day, after thirty-seven years of scouring. The blood has penetrated the 
wood and cannot be washed out. 



crans' report. The Federals out-numbered the Confederates more than six 
to one, and the light lasted three hours. A much more vivid picture of the 
battle is from the Confederate side, the report of Colonel Pegram made 
three days after the battle, while he was a prisoner at Beverly, and after 
Garnett's retreat. The following is from Pegram's report, sent to the Con- 
federate Secretary of War at Richmond. * 

"Not knowing where a 
communication will fi n d 
General Garnett,f I submit 
the following report of the 
fight at Rich Mountain. The 
battlefield was immediately 
around the house of one 
Hart, situated at the high- 
est point of the turnpike 
over the mountain, and two 
miles in the rear of my main 
line of trenches, the latter 
being at the foot of the 
western slope of the moun- 
tain. The intricacies of the 
surrounding country seemed 
battlefield of rich mountain. scarcely to d.ernand the plac- 

ing of any force at Hart's, yet I had that morning placed Captain De Lagnel 
there with 310 men and one piece of artillery, with instructions to defend it 
to the last extremity against whatever force might be brought to the at- 
tack by the enemy, but also to give me timely notice of his need for re-in- 
forcements. These orders had not been given two hours before General 
Rosecrans, who had been conducted up a distant ridge on my left flank and 
then along the top of the mountain by a man, attacked the small handful of 
troops under Captain De Lagnel, with 3,"000 men. When from ids'" camp I 
heard the firing becoming very rapid, without waiting to hear from Captain 
De Lagnel, I ordered up re-inforcements, and hurried on myself to the scene 
of action. When I arrived the piece of artillery was entirely unmanned, 
Captain De Lagnel having been severely wounded, after which his men had 
left their piece. The limber and caisson were no longer visible, the horses 
having run away with them down the mountain, in doing which 
they met and upset the second piece of artillery, which had been ordered 
up to their assistance. Seeing the infantry* deserting .the slight breast- 
works hastily thrown. up that morning by Captain De Lagnel, I used all 
personal exertion to make them stand to their work until I saw that the 
place was hopelessly lost. On my way back to my camp I found the re-in- 
forcing force under command of Captain Anderson, of the artillery, in great 
confusion, they having fired upon their retreating comrades. I hurried on 

* Colonel Pegram wrote this report while a prisoner at the residence of Jonathan 
Arnold in Beverly. The other Confederate officers, then prisoners in Beverly, were 
allowed the liberty of the town; but Colonel Pegram's liberties were more circumscribed, 
because he had joined the Confederate army without taking the trouble to resign as an 
officer from the United States army, which position lie held at the beginning of the war. 
His fate for a time was in doubt, but, finally, he was exchanged and fought till the end 
of the war. 

t Garnett was dead at that time. 


to camp and ordered the remaining companies of my own regiment in camp 
to join them. This left my right front and right flank entirely unmanned. 
I then went back up the mountain, where I found the whole force drawn up 
in line in ambuscade near the road, under Major Nat Tyler. I called their 
attention and said a few encouraging words to the men, asking them if they 
would follow their officers to the attack, to which they responded by a cheer. 
I was here interrupted by Captain Anderson, who said to me, 'Colonel 
Pegram, these men are completely demoralized, and will need you to lead 
them. ' 

' ' I took my place at the head of the column, which I marched in single 
file through laurel thickets and other almost impassable brushwood up a 
ridge to the top of the mountain. This placed me about one-fourth of a 
mile to the right flank of the enemy, and which was exactly the point I had 
been making for. I had just gotten all the men up together and was about 
making my dispositions for the attack when Major Tyler came up and 
reported that during the march up the ridge one of the men in his fright 
had turned round and shot the first sergeant of one of the rear companies, 
which had caused nearly the whole of the company to run to the rear. He 
then said that the men were so intensely demoralized that he considered it 
madness to attempt to do anything with them by leading them on to the 
attack. A mere glance at the frightened countenances around me convinced 
me that this distressing news was but too true, and it was confirmed by the 
opinion of three or four company commanders around me. They all agreed 
with me that there was nothing left to do but to send the command under 
Major Tyler to effect a junction with either General Garnett at Laurel Hill, 
or Colonel William C. Scott, who was supposed to be with his regiment near 
Beverly. It was now half -past six in the evening, when I retraced my steps 
with much difficulty back to the camp, losing myself frequently on the way, 
and arriving there after 11 o'clock at night. I immediately assembled a 
council of war, composed of the field officers and company commanders 
remaining, when it was unanimously agreed that, after spiking the two 
remaining pieces of artillery, we should attempt to join General Garnett by 
a march through the mountains to our right. This act was imperative, not 
only from our reduced numbers, now being about 600, and our being placed 
between two large attacking armies, but also because at least three-fourths 
of my command had no rations left; the other one-fourth not having flour 
enough for one meal. Having left directions for Sergeant Walker, and 
given directions to Assistant Surgeon Taylor to take charge of the sick and 
wounded in camp, and to show a white flag at daylight, I called the com- 
panies together and started at one o'clock a. m., without a guide, to make 
my way, if possible, over the mountains, where there was not the sign of a 
path, toward General Garnett's camp. As I remained in camp to see the 
last company in column, by the time I reached the head of the column, 
which was nearly a mile long, Captain Lilly's company had disappeared and 
has not since been heard from. * The difficulties attending my march it 

* Captain R. I). Lilly's company was organized at Staunton, and marched from that 
place for Randolph County June 7, 1861. He was afterwards promoted to General. In 
the battle near Winchester, July 20, 1864, while commanding Pegram's Brigade, he was 
wounded three times— first, in the left thigh by a shell; next his right arm was shattered 
by a minie-ball near the shoulder; and lastly, a minie-ball went through his already 
injured thigh. Being entirely disabled by his second wound, he dismounted, and 
received the third wound. Weak and faint, he lay down under a tree. A portion of the 
Federal army passed over him, and a soldier stopped long enough to take off his field- 


would be impossible to exaggerate. We arrived at Tygart's Valley River 
at 7 p. m. , having made the distance of twelve miles in about eighteen 
hours. Here we were met by several country people, who appeared to be 
our friends, and who informed us that at Leadsville Church, distant three 
miles, there was a small camp, composed of a portion of Garnett's command. 
Leaving Colonel Heck with instructions to bring the command forward 
rapidly, I hired a horse and proceeded forward until in sight of Leadsville 
Church, when I stopped at a farmhouse where were assembled a dozen men 
and women. They informed me that General Garnett had retreated that 
afternoon up the Leading Creek road, into Tucker County, and that he was 
being pursued by three thousand of the enemy, who had come from the 
direction of Laurel Hill as far as Leadsville Church, when they turned up 
the Leading Creek road in pursuit. This, of course, rendered all chance of 
joining General Garnett, or escaping in that direction, utterly impossible. 
Hurrying back to my command, I found them in much confusion, tiring ran- 
dom shots in the dark, under the impression that the enemy were surround- 
ing them. Reforming them, I hurried back to the point where we first 
struck the river, and persuaded a few of the country people to cook all the 
provisions they had, hoping that it might go a little way toward satisfying 
the hunger of my almost famishing men. 

"I now found, on examining the men of the house, that there 
was, if any, only one possible means of escape, and that by a road which, 
passing within three miles of the enemy's camp at Beverly, led over precip- 
itious mountains into Pendleton County. Along this road there were rep- 
resented to me to be but a few miserable habitations, where it would be 
utterly impossible for even a company of men to get food; and as it was 
now 11 o'clock p. m., it would be necessary to leave at once, without allow- 
ing them to get a mouthful where they were. I called a council of war, 
when it was agreed almost unanimously (only two members voting in the 
negative) that there was left to us nothing but the sad determination of 
surrendering ourselves prisoners of war to the enemy at Beverly. I was 
perfectly convinced that an attempt on our part to escape would sacrifice 
by starvation a large number of the lives of the command."! 

Colonel Pegram accordingly sent a messenger to Beverly, proposing to 
surrender and stating that his men were starving. General McClellan sent 
wagons loaded with bread for the prisoners, and they were conducted to 

§lass. Left alone for awhile, he crawled to a shady spot among the rocks and leaves. 
oon a Federal straggler came up and robbed him of his watch, pocket-book, hat, gold 
ring and pocket-knife. Next, an Irishman in the Federal army came along, inquired 
about his injuries, and went nearly a mile to procure water for him. Finally, several of 
Averell's cavalry gathered near him, and while they stood there a moccasin snake glided 
across his forehead and stopped near his face. He called to the soldiers and they killed 
the reptile. His arm was amputated at the shoulder by a Federal surgeon, and his 
wounded thigh was properly treated. The stolen watch was recovered through the 
agency of a Federal colonel. — "Annals of Augusta County," page 334. 

tThe following note is from a diary kept at Staunton during the war, by Joseph A. 
Waddell, whose book is the most interesting account of the war, from a local standpoint, 
that has appeared. He wrote from day to day of what he saw and heard. Under date 
of September 20, 1861, he wrote: "A train of wagons has just arrived from Greenbrier 
Eiver, bringing the remnants of Captain Bruce's company, Twentieth Regiment. 
Thirty odd men are left of about ninety who went out a few months ago. The regiment 
was at Rich Mountain when the disaster occurred there, and is completly broken up. 
Many of the men were captured by the enemy; some disabled by wounds; and some, I 
presume, killed." 


Beverly and placed in comfortable quarters. They numbered 555 officers 
and men. During the night before the surrender, one officer and forty 
men went off, preferring to take the chances of escaping to the South. 
Colonel Pegram had been deceived at Rich Mountain, both as to the num- 
ber of the Federals and their facilities for getting in his rear. The people 
of the surrounding country had told him that it was impossible to work 
round his flank on the south. He afterwards said that had he known his 
danger, he would have retreated on the night of July 10, blocking the road 
across Rich Mountain, thus giving Garnett time to retreat by way of 
Beverly. Pegram's whole force before the battle was 1300, and only 350 
took part in the battle on the summit of the mountain. Three days before 
the fight he had sent an urgent appeal for provisions, which were not sent, 
and his men fought and retreated on empty stomachs. 

At the time the battle at Rich Mountain was fought, Colonel W. Scott, 
with the 44th Virginia Infantry, was stationed near Beverly, and remained 
there till the battle was over, and then retreated toward Staunton by way 
of Huttonsville. He was blamed by the Confederates at the time for not 
marching to the assistance of Colonel Pegram when attacked. Had he 
gone up the mountain and attacked the Federals in front and rear, he might 
have changed the result, at least temporarily. In April, 1862, he felt so 
keenly the criticism of his actions, that he prepared a carefully written 
account of all he did and why he did it, showing conclusively that he had 
obeyed orders as well as he could under the circumstances.* He had 
been ordered from Staunton to join Garnett at Laurel Hill, and marching 
with haste with his regiment, he reached Beverly on the night of July 10, 
1861, which was the day before the battle. The next morning he moved 
on toward Laurel Hill, and when he had gone three or four miles, a mes- 
senger overtook him, bearing a letter from Colonel Pegram, as follows: 

' T think it almost certain that the enemy are working their way around 
my right flank, to come into this turnpike one and one half miles this side 
of Beverly. I would suggest you place your regiment in position on that 
road, and will reinforce you as soon as I get information of the approach 
of the enemy. I shall at once write a letter to General Garnett, inform- 
ing him of my opinion as to the movements of the enemy, and of the request 
I have made to you. I need not tell you how fatal it would be to have the 
enemy in our rear, as it would entirely cut off our supplies." 

It will be observed that Colonel Pegram feared a flank movement across 
the mountain north of his position, but did not suspect such ,a movement 
south of his camp. Yet, at that very moment nearly two thousand Fed- 
erals were working their way through the woods south of his camp. There 
was a path across the mountain north of the pike, and it was by this route 
that Pegram feared a flank movement. When his letter was read by Colonel 
Scott, that officer turned back and took up his position on the path ready 
to attack the Union forces should they advance that way. He sent to 
Leadsville for the two cannon, and for a troop of Greenbrier cavalry 
stationed there. The cannon had already been removed to Laurel Hill, and 
the cavalry refused to obey the order to move, because the order was not 
in writing. Scarcely had Colonel Scott reached his position when an order 
came from Garnett for him to stay there, and he did so. By that time the 
battle had commenced on the mountain, about four miles from Scott's posi- 

* The document is published in full in the "Records of the Rebellion. " 


tion. He could hear the musketry, and presently the artillery opened . He 
supposed the fighting was at the fort, at the western base of the mountain, 
six miles distant, and that McClellan had attacked. He remained guarding 
the path and waiting for news from the battle. Finally John N. Hughes, 
who lived in Beverly, volunteered to go to Colonel Pegram and bring any 
message that officer might want to send. He galloped up the road, and 
never returned. He was killed by Confederates who fired on him by mis- 
take* Late in the afternoon Lieutenant James Cochrane was sent from the 
top of Rich Mountain toward Beverly, by Captain De Lagnel to bring up 
some Confederate cavelry which had been seen in that direction. Cochrane 
with six men reached Scott's regiment, numbering 570 men, and conducted 
it up the pike toward the top of Rich Mountain. While ascending the 
mountain the Confederates met several Rebels on horseback who had been 
in the battle, and one had been wounded. They were trying to escape, and 
considered the battle already lost. However, they joined Scott's men in 
the march to the top of the mountain, but one by one they fell behind and 
took to flight. The noise of battle was still heard on the summit, which 
convinced Scott that the battle was not over, and he pushed forward as fast 
as possible up the pike. But when he reached a point within a mile of the 
summit, the firing ceased, and there came the prolonged yells and cheers 
of the victorious Union troops as they swept the Confederates from the 
field. Colonel Scott had little doubt of what it meant, but he advanced 
nearly half a mile further till almost in sight of the battlefield. 

Halting the troops, Colonel Scott, Lieutenant Cochrane and a few other 
officers dismounted and walked round a bend of the road from which the 
top of the mountain was visible, They saw the Federals in possession of 
the field; Thinking it possible to renew the battle successfully, a recon- 
noiter was made by a man named Lipford, who volunteered for the service. 
He passed round the bend of the road and almost immediately they heard 
the order, "Halt! Shoot him," followed by a volley. Lipford did not 
return, and Colonel Scott, judging that he had been killed, ordered a retreat 
down the mountain toward Beverly, setting an ambuscade on the way for 
the Federals, who were supposed to be following. They were not follow- 
ing, however, and Scott's regiment returned to Beverly. It was his pur- 
pose to march to Laurel Hill to join Garuett, but before a start was made 
in that direction two messengers arrived from Laurel Hill with intelligence 
that Garnett was retreating. It was now after dark on July 11. It was 
plain that Beverly would soon be in possession of the Federals. The quar- 
termaster stores there were loaded in wagons, making a train a mile long, 
and Colonel Scott began his retreat toward Huttonsville. The three divi- 
sions of the Confederate army during this night were endeavoring to save 
themselves. Colonel Pegram was trying to reach Garnett's camp on Laurel 
Hill; Garnett was trying to reach Beverly before McClellan could throw 
troops across Rich Mountain and cut him off; and Scott, thinking that all 
was lost, was retreating south from Beverly with such of the military stores 

*Jobn N. Hughes was a delegate to the Richmond Convention which passed the 
Ordinance of Secession, and he signed that document. When he returned to Beverly 
from Richmond he announced that he had "signed a second Declaration of Independ- 
ence." He took an active interest in the stirring events about Beverly, and was propos- 
ing to enlist in the Confederate army. Unfortunately for him he was drinking hard on 
the day of the battle and was not in condition to execute the dangerous duty which he 
undertook, and for that reason he lost his life. 


as he could carry away. Each of these Confederate officers was ignorant 
of what the others were doing. On the night of July 11, General Gar- 
nett sent a dispatch to Colonel Scott to hold the Federals in check on the 
Rich Mountain road until daylight on the 12th. Garnett expected to pass 
Beverly with his army by that time, and he would have done so, were it 
not for false information, which will be spoken of presently. The message 
sent to Colonel Scott reached him at sunrise on the 12th, seven miles 
south of Beverly, at the Jeff Davis Hotel, a log tavern. It was then too 
late to obey the orders, and Scott continued his retreat south, and over 
Cheat Mountain. At Huttonsville the regiment was halted for breakfast, 
and was joined by Major Tyler and a squad of Confederates who had 
escaped from Rich Mountain. While eating breakfast at Huttonsville, an 
order came from Garnett, believed to be the last order he ever wrote. It 

"General Garnett has concluded to go to Hardy County and toward Cheat bridge. 
You will take advantage of a position beyond Huttonsville and draw your supplies 
from Kichmond, and report for orders there."* 

garnett's retreat. 
Incidental mention has already been made of General Garnett's retreat 
from Laurel Hill. It -will now be spoken of more in detail. On July 9 he 
withdrew his skirmishers from in front of Belington and concentrated his 
forces on Laurel Hill, expecting an attack. The 10th passed without an 
attack, except a shell occasionly fired from the Federal column in the 
vicinity of Belington. On the afternoon of the 11th he heard the artillery 
on Rich Mountain, and correctly judged that a battle was in progress. 
Before sunset he received intelligence that the Federals were flanking 
Colonel Pegram on Rich Mountain, and he incorrectly judged that they 
were coming round by the path north of the turnpike. Then it was he 
sent orders to Colonel Scott to check them on that path, and blockade it. 
Early in the night of July 11, he learned that McClellan's troops had 
gained Pegram's rear. Garnett was now satisfied that the position on 
Rich Mountain could no longer be held; for, if the Confederates were not 
attacked and driven out by force they would be cut off from their base of 
supplies at Beverly and starved out. He began hasty preparations to 
retreat up the valley through Beverly, and it was then that he sent the 
order to Colonel Scott to hold the Federals on the Rich Mountain road 
until daylight, hoping to reach Beverly with his army by that time. The 
outcome of that order has been spoken of elsewhere in this chapter. Gen- 
eral Garnett still had time to escape through Beverly toward the south, 
but he was deceived by false intelligence. His scouts reported early on 
the morning of July 12 that Union troops were in Beverly, and Garnett 
concluded that McClellan had already crossed Rich Mountain and had 
cut off retreat up the valley, f The troops mistaken for Federals were the 

*The Federals did not occupy the Confederate fortifications at the base of Kich 
Mountain until the morning of July 12. The troops under Rosecrans who had 
defeated the Confederates on the top of the mountain on the afternoon of the eleventh, 
camped that night on the field, and the next morning moved down toward Roaring 
Creek, and occupied the abandoned Confederate works. Troops sent by McClellan 
from beyond Roaring Creek reached the works about the same time. There were very 

tMany of the citizens of Beverly and the surrounding country left their homes and 
went to the South. On the morning after the Rich Mountain fight, the Huttonsville 
bridge was burned by the retreating Confederates. 


rear of Colonel Scott's regiment then evacuating Beverly. Garnett was at 
that time within three or four miles of the town. Believing that he was 
headed off, he turned back and retreated up Leading Creek, and down 
Pheasant Run to Cheat River. He camped the night of the 12th on Pheasant 
Run. The charge was made at the time, and has been repeated ever 
since, that Colonel Scott blockaded the road between Beverly and Laurel 
Hill, thus cutting Garnett off from the Staunton pike, and compelling him 
to retreat through Tucker County. Speaking of this, Colonel Scott says: 

"I have been charged with blockading a part of the turnpike between 
Laurel Hill and Beverly, which prevented Garnett's retreat by that town. 
The charge is false . No road was blockaded by me. No tree was cut by 
my orders or by my regiment, anywhere." 

General Morris, who confronted Garnett at Laurel Hill, was not slow 
in discovering that the Confederates had retreated; but he was in poor con- 
dition for following. He had very few rations for his troops, and no 
time to bring more from Philippi. On the 12th he took possession of the 
deserted camp on Laurel Hill, and that evening moved to Leadsville, ar- 
riving there after Garnett's army had passed that point en its way into 
Tucker County. A halt was made till four o'clock the next morning when, 
with 3000 men, he pursued the retreating Confederates, cutting blockades 
out of the narrow roads leading over the mountain toward Pheasant Run, 
rain falling nearly the whole forenoon. Below will be found an account of 
the retreat of the Confederates and the battle at Corrick'sf Ford, from the 
official report of Colonel W. B. Taliaferro, of the 23rd Virginia Infantry, 
who was present on the Confederate side. 

"On the evening of July 12, General Garnett bivouacked at Kalor's 
Ford, on Cheat River, the rear of his column being about two miles back on 
Pheasant Run. On the morning of the 13th the command was put in mo- 
tion about 8 o'clock. Before the wagon train, which was very much im- 
peded by the condition of the country roads over which it had to pass, 
rendered very bad by the rains of the preceeding night, had crossed the 
first ford, half a mile above Kalor's the cavalry scouts reported that the 
enemy were closs upon our rear with a very large force of infantry, well 
supplied by cavalry and artillery. The First Georgia regiment was immedi- 
ately ordered to take a position across the meadow on the river side and 
hold the enemy in check until the train had passed the river, and then 
retire behind the Twenty-third Virginia Regiment, which was ordered to 
take position and defend the train until the Georgia troops had formed 
again in some defensible position. By the time the Georgians had crossed 
the river, and before some of the companies of that regiment who were 
thrown out to ambuscade the enemy could he brought over, the enemy ap- 
peared in sight of our troops, and immediately commenced firing upon them. 

few Confederates found there, and they were nearly all disabled and unable to retreat. 
But the Federals captured considerable stores; also buggies, carriages, horses and other 
property of citizens who had been visiting the Confederate camp on a friendly call, and 
were caught when the battle on the mountain began. There was no road by which 
they could get away, so they remained, and their buggies fell into Federal hands. One 
venerable old Confederate from Moorerield was too fat to run, and when Pegram retreated 
he left the corpulent officer in the trenches where he yielded to his fate and was taken 
prisoner the next morning. When the Federals saw him sitting on an empty flour bar- 
rel behind the ramparts they exclaimed with roars of laughter: "Here's old Sesesh 

t" This name is usually written Carrick, but the propper spelling is Corrick. 


This was briskly returned by the Georgia regiment, which, after some 
rounds, retired, in obedience to the orders received. The Twenty-third 
Virginia and the artillery were halted about three-quarters of a mile below 
the enemy, and were ordered to occupy a hill commanding the valley 
through which the enemy would have to approach, and a wood which com- 
manded the road. This position they held until the Georgia regiment was 
formed some distance in advance; then the former command retired, and 
again reformed in advance of the Georgians. This system of retiring upon 
eligible positions for defense was pursued without loss on either side, 
a few random shots only reaching us, until we reached Corrick's Ford, 
three and a half miles from Kalor's. This is a deep ford, rendered deeper 
than usual by the rains, and here some of the wagons became stalled in 
the river and had to be abandoned. 

"The enemy were now close upon the rear. Captain Corley ordered 
me to occupy the high bank on the right of the ford with my regiment and 
the artillery. • On the right this position was protected by a fence, on the 
left only by low bushes, but the hill commanded the ford and the approach 
to it by the road, and was admirably selected for defense. In a few min- 
utes the skirmishers of the enemy were seen running along the opposite 
bank, which was low and was skirted by a few trees, and were at first 
mistaken for the Georgians who were known to have been cut off;* but we 
were soon undeceived, and we opened upon the enemy. The enemy replied 
to us with a heavy fire from their infantry and artillery. We could discover 
that a large force was brought up to attack us, but our continued and well 
directed fire kept them from crossing the river, and twice we succeeded in 
driving them from the ford. They again came up with a heavy force and 
renewed the fight. The fire of their artillery was entirely ineffective, 
although their shot and shell were thrown very rapidly; but they all flew 
over our heads without any damage, except bringing the limbs of trees 
down upon us. The working of our guns was admirable, and the effect 
upon the enemy very destructive. We could witness the telling effect of 
almost every shot. After continuing the fight until almost every cartridge 
had been expended and until the artillery had been withdrawn by General 
Garnett's orders, and as no part of his command was in sight or supporting 
distance, as far as I could discover, nor, as I afterwards ascertained, within 
four miles of me, I ordered the regiment to retire. I was induced more- 
over to do this, as I believed the enemy was making an effort to turn our 
flank, and without supiaort it would have been impossible to have held the 
position, as already nearly thirty of my men had been killed or wounded. 
The dead and severely wounded we had to leave upon the field, but retired 
in perfect order, the officers and men manifesting decided reluctance at 
being withdrawn. After marching half a mile I was met by Colonel Starke, 
General Garnett's aid, who directed me to move on with my regiment to the 
next ford, a short distance in advance, where I would overtake General 

*Tkese Georgians, finding that they could not rejoin the army, retreated up the 
mountain through the woods, guided by a citizen of that country. They crossed that 
day to Otter Fork and camped. The next day they reached Dry Fork, having traveled 
through woods of tangled laurel which seemed almost impenetrable. They subsisted, 
in large part, on birch bark, and to this day the route they followed may be discovered 
by the scarred and half peeled birch trees. They reached Pendleton County after 
several days, and thence reached Monterey. 


' 'On the further side of this ford I met General Garnett, who directed 
rne to halt my regiment around the turn of the road, some hundred and 
fifty yards off, and to detail for him ten good riflemen, remarking to me, 
'This is a good place behind this driftwood to post skirmishers. ' I halted 
the regi ment as ordered, but from the difficulty of determining who were 
the best shots, I ordered Captain Tomkins to report to the general with 
his whole company. The general, however, would not permit them to 
remain, but after selecting ten men, ordered the company back to the 
regiment. I posted three companies on a high bluff overlooking the river, 
but finding the underbrush so thick that the approach of the enemy could 
not be well observed, they were withdrawn. A few minutes after this 
Colonel Stark rode up and said that General Garnett directed me to march 
as rapidly as I could and overtake the main body. A few minutes after- 
wards Lieutenant Depriest reported to me that General Garnett had been 
killed. He fell just as he gave the order to the skirmishers to retire, and 
one of them was killed by his side.* I marched my regiment four miles on 
to Parsons' Ford, a half mile beyond which I overtook the main body of 
our troops, who had been halted there by General Garnett, and had been 
drawn up to receive the enemy. The enemy did not advance to this ford, 
and after halting for some time our whole command moved forward, and 
marched all night on the road leading up Horse Shoe Run, reached about 
daylight the Red House, in Maryland. At this last place a large force of 
the enemy under General Hill was concentrated. This body did not attack 
us, and we moved the same day as far as Greenland, in Hardy County." 

The Confederates lost 13 killed in the battle and 15 wounded; at Laurel 
Hill 2 killed, 2 wounded; at Rich Mountain 45 killed, 20 wounded; and in the 
battles and retreat they lost about 700 prisoners. At Rich Mountain the Fed- 
erals had 12 killed and 49 wounded; at Laurel Hill, 4 killed, 6 wounded; at 
Corrick's Ford 2 killed 7 wounded. The Confederates lost the greater part of 
their baggage, and retreated with but little food for seven days, reaching 
Monterey, in Virginia. The Federals at Corrick's Ford were even in a 
worse famished condition than the Confederates. Many of the latter had 
breakfast on Pheasant Run that morning. But the Union troops had eaten 
nothing since the evening before, and some of them nothing since the noon 
before. Therefore, having marched and fought in rain and mud, with 
nothing to eat for eighteen or twenty-four hours, they were in poor condi- 
tion to follow up the victory at Corrick's Ford. They left off pursuit there, 
but detachments followed the Confederates and picked up plunder fifteen 
or twenty miles further. General Moi'ris halted his army at Corrick's 
Ford till the next day, subsisting the men on beef without salt. He marched 
to St. George on the afternoon of July 14, remained there till the next 
morning, and then returned to Belington by way of Clover Run. Garnett's 
army had a narrow escape after the pursuing army from Laurel Hill turned 
back. Troops to the number of 6000, scattered along the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad from the Ohio to Cumberland were ordered concentrated at 
Oakland to cut Garnett off, as soon as it was known he was retreating east- 
ward. While the battle at Corrick's Ford was in progress, troops under 
General C. W. Hill were moving to occupy the Northwestern pike at the 

*The buttle of Corrick's Ford was not fought at Corrick's Ford, but at another ford 
nearly a mile up the river; but General Garnett was killed at Corrick's Ford, which is at 
the southern end of the town of Parsons, in Tucker County. 


Red House Had they reached that point before the Confederates passed, 
the whole army would have been captured. But the troops could not be 
concentrated quickly enough. Cars could not be had to carry them along 
the railroad, and the result was, the last of the Confederates had passed 
the Red House about an hour before the van of the Uuion army arrived 


In preceding pages of this book an outline was given of the events 
followins: the retreat of Garnett, up to and including the skirmishes at 
Elkwater and Cheat .Mountain, and it is not deemed necessary to repeat 
here what was said there; but it is proper to give some of the minor details 
of the fighting from the 12th to the 17th of September, 1861. Official re- 
ports from the Confederate side are very meager. Five reports were made 
by as many Union officers, who took part in the skirmishing. These were 
General Joseph J. Reynolds, who succeeded McClellan as commander of 
the Federal forces in Northern Virginia; by Colonel Nathan Kimball, 
Colonel George D. Wagner, Colonel Richard Owen, and Colonel David J. 
Higgans. On the Confederate side Colonel Albert Rust, of the Third 
Arkansas Infantry, made a report, and General R. E. Lee gave it a brief 
mention in a public order. The situation and Lee's plans, on September 
12, are thus spoken of :f 

' 'It was decided to attack simultaneously the two Federal fortifications. 
Eastward from Huttonsvilie the Cheat Mountain lifts itself in three par- 
allel ridges, and upon the second or central height, Reynolds had placed 
about 2000 men behind the walls of a log fort. At Elkwater he had 3000 
menbehindbreastworks, while 5000 waited at Huttonsvilie to bring succor 
to either outpost. Colonel Rust, of H. R. Jackson's band, reconnoitred 
the Federal fortress on Cheat Mountain, and declared his ability to flank 
the post and capture it. Upon this representation, Lee decided to make 
the double assault on the mountain top and at Elkwater. The march was 
to begin under cover of darkness, and the blows were to fall in the early 
morning twilight of September 12. From Jackson's column of 2500, the 
two regiments of Taliaferro and Fulkerson were assigned to Rust for the 
flank attack on the Federal right and rear of the Cheat Mountain fortress. 
Jackson was ordered to lead the rest of his men boldly in front along the 
turnpike against this post. From Loring's column of 3500, three regiments 
under S. R. Anderson were ordered to gain the roadway between the Cheat 
Mountaiu fort and Huttonsvilie, and likewise keep in touch of the two 
flanking regiments under Rust. Two regiments under Donaldson were to 
seek the Federal left and rear of the Elkwater works and hold the road- 
way in their rear. The remainder under Loring were to move forward 
along the highway against Elkwater. The troops were to move in silence 
during the night, and Loring's bands were to await, as the signal for at- 
tack, the guns of Rust's regiment on the mountain ridge. The initial steps 
in the movement were completed with grea/t spirit. Through the heavy 

*In Waddell's "Annals of Augusta County," under date of September 8, 1861, the 
following note occurs: "The jailor of this county informs me that the. Union men 
brought from Beverly when our army retreated from that place, and since then confined 
in our jail, are in miserable plight— some of them half naked. There are twenty-one of 
them." Page 288. 

tH. A. White's Life of Robert E. Lee. 


rain and the darkness, marching partly in Cheat River itself and then 
through the dense forest, over boulders and up steep ascents, the soldiers 
hurried with noiseless tread. The dawn found each column at the ap- 
pointed place. Anderson and Donaldson reached the rear of the two Fed- 
eral positions; Loring and Jackson advanced to threaten each position in 
front. Rust succeeded in placing his band to the Federal right and rear 
of the mountain entrenchment. Muskets were loaded and bayonets fixed 
for the assault. But the signal sounded not. Unfortunately Rust cap- 
tured some pickets who made him believe that 5000 Federal troops were 
fortified on the mountain summit awaiting his onset. As the morning 
dawned, he saw before him heavy abatis and beyond these, entrenchments, 
and within the entrenchment he saw the soldiers with ready guns. 
He gave no signal, except the signal to retreat. The other columns grew 
impatient and strained their ears to catch the sound of musketry fire on 
the ridge. Rust withdrew and acknowledged his failure. Two days later 
all the bands were withdrawn to their former camping places. Let it be 
remembered that widely separated bodies of soldiers seldom make simul- 
taneous attacks. In this case the movement under Lee's own eye at Elk- 
water was a complete success, but no communication was possible between 
the wings of his arnry." 

General Lee wrote to his wife saying: "I cannot tell you my regret 
and mortification at the untoward events that caused the failure of the 
plan. I had taken every precaution to insure success, and counted on it; 
but the Ruler of the Universe willed otherwise, and sent a storm to discon- 
cert the plan. " To governor Letcher, of Virginia, Lee wrote and freely 
expressed his disappointment. He said: 

' 'I was sanguine of taking the enemy's works on last Thursday morning. 
I had considered the subject well. With great effort the troops intended 
for the surprise had reached their destination, having traversed twenty 
miles of steep, rugged mountain paths, and the last day through a terrific 
storm that lasted all night and in which they had to stand drenched to the 
skin in the cold rain. Still their spirits were good. When the morning 
broke I could see the enemy's tents on the Valley River on the point on 
the Huttonsviile road just below me. It was a tempting sight. We 
waited for the attack on Cheat Mountain, which was to be the signal, till 
10 a. m. The Federals were cleaning their unserviceable arms. But the 
signal did not come. All chance for surprise was gone. The provisions 
of the men had been destroyed the preceding day by the storm. They had 
nothing to eat that morning; could not hold out another day, and were 
obliged to be withdrawn. The attack to come off from the east side failed 
from the difficulties in the way. The opportunity was lost and our plan 
discovered. It is a grievous disappointment to me I assure you. But for 
the rainstorm, I have no doubt it would have succeeded. This, governor, 
is for your own eyes. Please do not speak of it. We must try again. Our 
greatest difficulty is the roads. It has been raining in these mountains 
about six weeks. It is that which has paralyzed all our efforts." 

It is observable that Lee makes no mention of skirmishing, and were 
it not for the reports of some of the Federal officers, it might be supposed 
there was no lighting. But there was considerable maneuvering and not 
a little fighting. Colonel Rust, who led one of the Confederate detachments, 
makes the rather epigrammatic announcement as the opening sentence of his 
report: "The expedition against Cheat Mountain failed." He then pro- 



ceeds to explain how and why it happened, and praises the bravery of his 
own troops, who were from Arkansas, by charging others with cowardice 
and stating that the cowards were not Arkansasans. He says he reached his 
position in time, notwithstanding the rain, and with his own hands he 
captured a prisoner. But when he began questioning him, the prisoner's 
statement of the Union strength upset all the plans of the Arkansas officer, 
and greatly alarmed him. The prisoner no doubt purposely overestimated 
the Federal strength, and the Confederate officer not only believed the 
report, but thought he discovered indications that reinforcements were on 
their way to the Federals, and he declares he heard the cannon going down 
the road, and was satisfied there were from 4000 to 5000 men in the en- 
trenchments. Nevertheless he declares he would have attacked them any- 
how, but discovered that he could not get near enough to make the attack. 
The exaggerated strength of the place, learned from prisoners, worked 
on his imagination until he declared he "could see entrenchments on the 
south, and outside of the entrenchments, and all round, up to the road, 
heavy and impassable abatis." He also saw "a fort or a block house on the 
point or elbow of the road." In addition to this he found in the pocket of 
one of his prisoners "a requisition for 930 rations, also a letter indicating 
they had very little sustenance." Therefore he says that one of his officers 
told him "it would be madness to make an attack" — leaving room for in- 
ference that he considered it dangerous to attack men who had very little 
to eat and wanted "930 rations. " He states that he "got near enough to 
see the men in the trenches." In this trying situation when he could "see 
the men in the trenches," he declared "most of my command behaved ad- 
mirably," but, he adds on a second thought, "some I would prefer to be 
without upon any expedition." Bad luck attended him still further, for of 
all the prisoners he took, including the one he caught with his own hands, 
he brought only one away, and says "the cowardice of the guard permitted 
the others to escape," and adds that the cowardly guards were not from 
Arkansas. After speaking again of the strength of the Federal camp, he 
declares "the taking of the picket looked like a providential interposition." 
Otherwise he might have attacked the camp, and, he says, "they were four 
times my force." This report was made to General Loring and it contains 
no account of any fighting, but is teeming with declarations of what he 
might have done if he had had a chance. 

This is the only report made by the Confederate officers engaged, ex- 
cepting an order by General Lee, September 14, 1861, in which he says: 

"The forced reconnaissance of the enemy's position, both at the Cheat 
Mountain Pass and on the Valley River, having been completed, and the 
character of the natural approaches and the nature of the artificial defenses 
exposed, the army of the Northwest will resume its former position at such 
time and in such manner as General Loring shall direct, and continue its 
preparations for further operations." 

General Reynolds, commander of the Union forces, narrates the various 
movements as he understood them, up to September 17. Below will be 
found an extract from his report, written at Elkwater. 

"On the 12th the enemy, 9000 strong, with eight to twelve pieces of 
artillery, under command of General R. E. Lee, advanced on this position 
by the Huntersville pike. Our advanced pickets gradually fell back to our 
main picket station, checking the enemy's advance at the Point Mountain 
turnpike, and then falling back on the regiment. The enemy threw into 


the woods at our left front, three regiments, who made their way to the 
right and rear of Cheat Mountain, took a position on the road leading to 
Huttonsville, broke the telegraph wire, and cut off our communication with 
Cheat Summit. Simultaneously, another force of the enemy, of about equal 
strength, advanced by the Staunton pike in the front of Cheat Mountain, 
and threw two regiments to the right and rear of Cheat which united with 
the three regiments from the other column of the enemy. Cheat Mountain 
Pass is at the foot of the mountain, ten miles from the summit. The enemy 
advanced toward the pass, by which he might possibly have obtained the 
rear or left of Elkwater, was there met by four companies, which engaged 
and gallantly held in check greatly superior numbers of the enemy, foiled 
him in his attempt to obtain the rear or left of Elkwater, and threw him in 
the rear and right of Cheat Mountain, the companies retiring to the pass at 
the foot of the mountain. The enemy, about 5000 strong, now closed in on 
Cheat Summit, and became engaged with detachments from the summit, 
about 300, who deployed in the woods, held in check the enemy, who 
did not succeed at any time in getting sufficiently near the field redoubts to 
give Damn's battery an opportunity of firing into him. 

"So matters rested at dark on the 12th, with heavy forces in front and 
in plain sight of both posts, communication cut off, and the supply' train 
for the mountains loaded with provisions which were needed, waiting for 
an opportunity to pass up the road. Determined to force a communication 
with Cheat, I ordered the Thirteenth Indiana to cut their way, if necessary, 
by the main road, and the Third Ohio and Second Virginia, to do the same 
by the path. The two commands started at 3 a. m. on the 13th, the former 
from Cheat Mountain Pass, and the latter from Elkwater, so as to fall upon 
the enemy, if possible, simultaneously. Early on the 13th the small force 
of about 300 from the summit engaged the enemy, and with such effect that, 
notwithstanding his greatly superior numbers, he retired in great haste 
and disorder, leaving large quantities of clothing and equipment on the 
ground; and our relieving force, failing to catch the enemy, marched to the 
summit, securing the provision train, and re-opening our communication. 
While this was taking place on the mountain, and as yet unknown to us, 
the enemy, under Lee, advanced on Elkwater, appearently for a general 
attack. One 10-pounder Parrott gun from. Loomis' battery was run to the 
front three- fourths of a mile and delivered a few shots at the enemy, caus- 
ing him to withdraw out of convenient range, and doing fine execution. 
Our relative positions remained until near dark when we learned the result 
of the movements on the mountain, and the enemy retired somewhat for 
the night. 

' 'On the 14th early the enemy was again in position in front of Elkwater, 
and a few rounds were again administered, which caused him to withdraw 
as before. The forces that had been before repulsed from Cheat returned, 
and were again driven back by a comparatively small force, from the moun- 
tain. The Seventeenth Indiana was ordered up the path to open communi- 
cation and make way for another supply train, but, as before, found that 
the little band from the summit had already done the work. During the 
afternoon of the 14th the enemy withdrew from before Elkwater, and is 
now principally concentrated some ten miles from this post, at or near his 
main carnp. On the 15th he approached in stronger force than at any pre- 
vious time in front of Cheat and attempted a flank movement by the left, 


but was driven back by the ever vigilant and gallant garrison of the field 
redoubt on the summit." 


On November 12, 1861, a squad of Federals, crossing from Beverly to 
Dry Fork, piloted by John Snider, were fired upon and six were wounded 
at the Laurel Fork Ford. The attacking party was composed of citizens, 
several of whom were from Tucker County. The bushwhackers escaped, 
but the affair caused the Southeim sympathizers of that section much trou- 
ble, for very severe measures were adopted against them; and men who 
had, before that, been unmolested, afterwards found it necessary to sleep 
many a cold night in the woods. 


In August, 1862, an important raid was made by General John D. Im- 
boden, of the Confederate army, from Pendleton County, through Ran- 
dolph, into Tucker, and back again. It was his purpose to attack the 
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Rowlesburg, in Preston County, but he did 
not succeed in reaching that point. He set out from Franklin August 14, 
with about 300 men. He marched through the woods, crossing rivers and 
mountains, sometimes by a path, but more frequently through the forest, 
cutting a path where the thickets were densest. He could not average 
more than twelve or fifteen miles a day. When he reached the eastern 
base of Cheat Mountain, a little north of and only twelve miles from 
Beverly, on the Senaca Path, he turned off short to the northward, intend- 
ing to strike Dry Fork of Cheat a few miles below the mouth of Glady 
Fork. There was a squad of forty Federals stationed at the mill of 
Abraham Parsons, where the town of Parsons now stands. Imboden 
hoped to take these by surprise. He reached Dry Fork just at dark and 
halted to eat supper. At 10 o'clock that night he moved forward toward 
Parsons' mill, ten miles distant. The night was very dark and he made 
only seven miles by daybreak. He divided his forces, waded Black Fork 
of Cheat five times, surrounded the mill — only to find the Federals gone in 
double-quick retreat toward Rowlesburg. Speaking of his failure Imboden 
wrote two weeks later: 

"I afterwards learned that an old fool, a friend, who saw our route 
the day before, spoke of it to a Union man, who took the news to Beverly 
and thence a carrier warned the post of my approach just in time for them 
to flee. It was too bad. About fifteen mounted men I had with me came 
up with them and had a skirmish. No damage done. My infantry was 
so broken down by twenty-four hours marching that I had to halt a few 
hours for rest and sleep. During our rest a scoundrel — a sharp, shrewd 
German — deserted, stole a mule, and went to Beverly and disclosed my 
numbers and what he suspected of my plans. The commandant at Beverly 
at once telegraphed to New Creek and 1000 men were sent up to Rowles- 
burg. Not knowing these facts at the time, I moved on as soon as my men 
could travel to St. George. Here I got reliable information that the troops 
from New Creek had reached Rowlesburg. In a short time I also ascer- 
tained that they were marching upon St. George and were only a few miles 
distant. I took from the postoffice such of the records of the bogus county 
court as I could conveniently carry. I have sent them to Governor 
Letcher, I took all the goods (sugar, coffee and medicine) from the store 



of Dr. Solomon Parsons, member of the Wheeling Convention and leader 
of the Lincolnites in Tucker, and left him a receipt for them. He and all 
the Union men of the county had fied that morning. * I began to fall back 
up the river. When within five miles of Parsons' Mill my brother George 
met me and reported a sharp skirmish he had on the Beverly road, near 
Corrick's Ford, with a Yankee picket or advance guard. Things now 
began to look squally. I feared a force from Beverly might reach the 
mill before me and cut me off from the Dry Pork Pass, in which event I 
would have been compelled to whip them, or take to the mountains, with 
the loss of my pack-mules; so I pushed ahead for the mill, and on arriving 
there found no enemy. I moved up Dry Pork and encamped for the night 
with my rear safe, and in a position to whip 1000 men in front, should they 
pursue me. The next day I struck the wilderness again, and in three days 
reached Daven's [Slaven's] cabin at the foot of Cheat, on the Staunton and 
Parkersburg turnpike. We subsisted on potatoes and beef on the most of 
the route, there being no flour or meal in the country." 

It is now known that Imboden's advance down Dry Pork was not 
betrayed by "a Union man," as he supposed, but by a woman, Miss Jane 
Snider, who suspected the designs of the Rebels, and rode to Parsons' 
Mill and warned the Federal garrison at that place in time for the troops 
to fall back toward Rowlesburg. She was the daughter of John Snider 
and afterwards married M. V. Bennett. Irnboden afterwards ascertained 
who had betrayed his plans. John Snider was one of the leaders of the 
Union men on Dry Pork, and he and Irnboden seldom crossed each other's 
paths without an encounter. On the jDresent expedition they met and 
Irnboden thus speaks of it in a letter to Charles W. Russell : 

"Just in the edge of the village of St. George I was riding some dis- 
tance ahead of my men and suddenly came upon old John Snider and one 
of the Parsonses, both armed with rifles. Parsons fled and I got into a fight 
with Snider. Just as he was aiming at me with his long rifle, I fired at him 
with my revolver. He dropped his gun like a hot potato and leaned for- 
ward on the neck of his horse and escaped . into the laurel. Pursuit was 
immediately made but he escaped. I have since learned from some refugees 
that I wounded him badly, though I fear not mortally. I had a fair shot 
at about fifty yards and aimed at his hips. We were bushwhacked half a 
day in Tucker as we fell back from St. George by Union men, but the cow ■ 
ardly scoundrels went so far up into the mountains that they only hit one 
of my men, and he was but slightly wounded in the foot. I sent out a 
whole company once to try to catch three of these bushwhackers, but it 

*Dr. Parsons had received a few weeks previous to that time a large bill of goods, and 
believing that no Confederate would venture into that region, he sent a taunting mes- 
sage to Irnboden to "come and get the goods." To the doctor's surprise and chagrin 
Irnboden arrived and carried off the merchandise. This store stood a half mile from St. 
George. It was a success for Irnboden, but the Southern sympathizers in- Tucker County 
paid dearly for it. Captain Kellogg, of the 123d Ohio, levied assessments on them to pay 
Dr. Parsons. The amount collected was five or six times as much as the value of the 
goods taken. The order served on the citizens read as follows: "You are hereby 
notified that, upon an assessment, you are assessed — — dollars to make good the losses 
of Union men. If you fail to pay in three days, your property will be confiscated, your 
house burned and yourself shot.. ' Capt. Kellogg, Commanding 123 Ohio. 

"By order Biiig. (Jen. Milroy. " 

The assessments ranged from $7 to $S00. Nicholas Parsons paid $500; William B. 
Parsons $700, and Abraham Parsons $800. These were all relatives of Dr. Parsons. 


was impossible to come up with them in the brush. If I had caught them 
I intended hanging them in five minutes. The greatest difficulty in our 
way out here is the infernal Union men. They carry intelligence and bush- 
whack us wherever they can, and yet will swear allegiance a dozen times 
a day. The proper policy to be pursued toward Union men who are not 
in arms as soldiers is one of the most difficult problems I have to deal 
with. Thus far I have scrupulously abstained from molesting them in any 
manner, with the exception of four Upshur men that I have arrested as 
spies. My purpose has been to arrest all office holders under the bogus 
government and seize their property for confiscation, but not to interfere 
with private citizens, hoping that a policy of conciliation would bring back 
many of them; but the enemy are treating our friends in the Northwest 
with such brutal cruelty that I fear nothing short of retaliation will check 
them. I am tempted sometimes to write to President Davis and tell him 
what I have seen and heard in the Northwest and ask his instructions. 
Great God! but my blood boils when listening to such statements as I have 
heard from men and women during my recent expedition. No Oriental 
despot ever inspired such mortal terror by his iron rule of his subjects as 
is now felt by the men and women of the Northwest. Grown up men come 
to me stealthily through the woods to talk to me in a whisper of their 
wrongs. They would freely have given me bread and meat but dared not 
do so. They begged me, in some instances, to take it, apparently by force, 
so that they might not be charged with feeding us voluntarily. Men 
offered to sell me large lots of cattle secretly, if I would then send armed 
men to seize and carry off the property." 


In November, 1862, Imboden again led an expedition from east of the 
Alleghanies, through Randolph County, toward Rowlesburg, but again he 
turned back when he reached St. George. This was a remarkable expedi- 
tion in some respects, and his men suffered much from hunger and cold. 
On November 7 he left his camp on the South Fork, in Hardy County, with 
310 well mounted men, supplied with blankets and overcoats. He intended 
to destroy the bridge over Cheat River at Rowlesburg. He had written to 
General Lee that he thought he could do it. He set forward in a snow 
storm, and at midnight reached the base of the Alleghanies, six miles north 
of the mouth of Senaca, and halted till daybreak- He was thirty-eight 
miles from St. George and expected to reach it early in the night of the 8th. 
He crossed the mountain by a miserable path at the head of the Right 
Fork of Red Creek near the common corner of Grant, Pendleton, Randolph 
and Tucker Counties. He passed down Dry Fork, following a path poor 
enough at best, but worse then usual on account of the deep snow. He had 
mountain howitzers on the backs of mules. One of the mules lost his foot- 
ing and rolled down the monntain into the river, with the cannon on him. 
The animal and cannon were rescued, and the march proceeded. So 
rough was the way that when night came they had made less then twenty 
miles, and were obliged to wait for the moon to rise at midnight. While 
waiting they were visited by a citizen from Tucker County who gave them 
the startling intelligence that 600 Federals had that day passed up Dry 
Fork. Fortunately for Imboden, they had passed the mouth of Red Creek 
before he reached that point, and he thus missed them. He also was told 
that General Milroy with 4000 men had moyed from Beverly toward Mon- 


terey. Imboden believed that an effort would be made to capture him as 
soon as it was learned he was in the country; but he decided to move on to 
St. George anyway, and take chances on getting out. The snow storm still 
continued, but he succeeded in reaching St. George by daylight on Novem- 
ber 9, and surrounded the town, and captured Captain William Hall and 
thirty Federals who had fortified the Court-House. The prisoners were 
paroled after Imboden had stripped them of their overcoats and blankets . 

The Confederates retreated up Drv Fork and reached -the mouth of 
Glady Fork at 9 o'clock at night, and halted there till midnight when they 
resumed the march up Glady Fork, following part of the distance a path 
which Imboden had cut while on his expedition the previous August. He 
had received information that an effort would be made from Beverly to 
head him off, and for this reason he took to the wilderness where he could 
fight on an equal footing with any force that could be sent against him. At 
4 p. m. , November 10, he reached a point ten miles east of Beverly, and 
went into camp. This was the first night's rest for either men or horses 
since starting. While there, a man who had been in Beverly that day 
came to him and gave him details of the movements of the Federals, and 
informed him that Milroy's baggage train was probably at Camp Barstow, 
on the Greenbrier River, and Imboden decided to attack it and take his 
chances of escape through Pocahontas County. The next morning he set 
forward through the woods by the aid of a guide, and traveled all day on 
a course south 35 degrees east, reaching a place called Upper Sinks late in 
the afternoon, on the head of Greenbrier, and eleven miles from Camp 
Barstow. On the morning of November 12, six of his horses were unable 
to proceed, and they were left, the riders following on foot. The day was 
dark. The snow had changed to rain. Before noon the guide became be- 
wildered, and the army was lost in one of the most impenetrable pine for- 
ests of the Alleghanies. At night they found themselves again at the 
Sinks whence they had started that morning. A day had been lost, and Im- 
boden gave up the plan of attacking Milroy's camp. The sun came up clear 
on the morning of November 13, and the hungry and bewildered Confeder- 
ates moved forward and that day crossed the Alleghany near the line be- 
tween Pendelton and Highland counties, to the head of the North Fork. 
After many narrow escapes, Imboden reached his camp on the South Fork, 
only to find that General Kelley had destroyed it and killed, captured or 
dispersed the men he had left there. 


In the later part of August and the first of September, 1862, General 
A. G. Jenkins with a Confederate cavalry force of 550 men, made his famous 
raid across West Virginia into Ohio. He passed through Randolph County, 
and in conjunction with Imboden, planned an attack on Beverly, but be- 
lieving that large reinforcements had arrived he abandoned the plan and 
moved to Buckhannon. In his report of the expedition, written September 
19, he says of his operations near Beverly: 

"I was at the time under the impression that the wiemy had but 450 
men at Beverly, and intended to attack him at that point; but hearing that 
General Kelley had reached there with 1500 men, I determined, if possible, 
to ascertain its correctness. For this purpose we used every effort to cap- 
ture some of the enemy's scouts as we approached Huttonsville, and when 
within five or six miles of the latter place, we succeeded in doing so. Of 


the enemy's scouting party of six we captured two and killed one, the latter 
being one of the two brothers named Gibson. We endeavored to take him 
alive, but he refused to surrender and resisted to the last. Prom the two 
prisoners I learned that General Kelley was certainly in Beverly with some 
1500 men. In the meantime I had been communicating with Imboden 
who was at Cheat Mountain with a small force, and with whom I had con- 
templated a co-operation. But the enemy's force being nearly twice as large 
as ours, made even a combined attack impracticable. I now determined, if 
possible, to throw my force in General Kelley's rear, and learning that an 
immense amount of supplies, and several thousand stands of arms had 
been collected at Buckhannon, I concluded to strike at that point. To 
effect this we had to cross Rich Mountain by a mere bridle path, or rather 
trail, which was often undiscoverable, and which for thirty miles passed 
through the most perfect wilderness I ever beheld. It was indeed an ardu- 
ous task for men and horses. Some of the latter were completely broken 
down and left behind, and a few of the men were also physically unable to 
make the march, and returned to General Loring's camp. After twenty- 
four hours of continuous marching, with intervals for rest, we suddenly 
entered upon the fertile country watered by the tributaries of the Buck- 
hannon River. Here we halted, and after a few hours for rest and food, 
we proceeded down French Creek toward the town of Buckhannon. The 
population along this creek is among the most disloyal in all Western Vir- 
ginia. We emerged so suddenly from the mountains, and by a route' hardly 
known to exist, and if known, deemed utterly impassable for any number of 
men, that the inhabitants could scarcely comprehend that we were South- 
ern troops." 

General Jenkins proceeded to Buckhannon, captured the town, and 
destroyed considerable quanties of military stores which he could not con- 
vey away. He then proceeded to Weston, and captured every town he 
came to on his march to the Ohio River. 


In the spring of 1863 occurred the memorable and destructive raids of 
General John D. Imboden and General W. E. Jones, whose combined force 
of 5000 Confederates swept across West Virginia. The principal incidents 
of the raids are given elsewhere in this book. More particular mention of 
the raid through Randolph County will now be given. Imboden entered 
the valley above Huttonsville on the evening of April 23, having marched 
four days in drenching rains.- The country was almost impassable on 
account of mud, and what otherwise would have been a dashing movement, 
was a slow and toilsome march, dragging cannon and wagons through mire 
to the axles, and the cavalry struggling through mud to the saddle skirts. 
The movement, however, was sufficiently rapid to hurry out every Federal 
detachment and picket from Beverly to Spencer, north to the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad. Imboden, who passed through Randolph, Barbour, 
Upshur to Lewis, had little fighting. Jones, who marched* from Moorefield 
by the Northwestern Pike, to Rowlesburg, Morgantown, Fairmont, to 
Lewis County, had more fighting. Imboden had 3365 men, 700 of them 
cavalry; Jones had a force about half as strong. In passing over Cheat 
Mountain before descending into the valley Imboden's men waded through 
snow twenty inches deep. The Confederates hoped to fall on Beverly by 
surprise; but in this they were disappointed. The Federal authorities were 


looking for a raid; and when Imboden reached the Greenbrier River he 
learned that John Slayton, a Federal scout, with a squad of seven soldiers, 
had passed there at sunrise that morning, hurrying to Beverly with intelli- 
gence that the Rebels were coming. Imboden had anticipated something of 
the kind, and thought he had taken ample steps to prevent it, . He had 
sent a squad of soldiers from Pocahontas County on April 20 to the Green- 
brier River to stop any one passing who might alarm Beverly, but Slayton 
took to the mountains north of the pike, and although Imboden sent twenty 
men in pursuit of him, they failed to stop him, and the Confederate general 
presumed that he could not take Beverly by surprise. Nevertheless, he 
pushed on to Huttonsville, and found that the Union picket of thirty men 
usually kept there had been withdrawn at 11 o'clock that morning. This 
convinced him that the forces at Beverly were ready to fight or retreat, and 
he went into camp at Huttonsville. A little after midnight his advance 
picket reported a body of Federals as having passed up on the east side of 
the river to a mountain, overlooking the Confederate camp, and after an 
hour the same party returned toward Beverly. Imboden had sent a com- 
pany of infantry on the first alarm to attempt to cut them off, but they 
failed to do so. He at that time estimated the Union force at Beverly at 
1500. The actual force there was 878 men, with two cannon. Colonel George 
R. Latham was in command of the Federal force. The next morning, 
April 24, Colonel Latham advanced toward Huttonsville to meet the Con- 
federates, and met the advance guard five miles above Beverly and skir- 
mishing began. He was unable to hold them in check. They steadily 
advanced, and he as steadily fell back, unable to see much on account of 
the fog which had settled down on the valley and hills, but judging from the 
assurance with which they advanced he concluded that they meant to inarch 
to Beverly. He also listened to the portentous rumble of the cannon over 
the few places in the roads where the deep mud did not deaden the noise, 
and his scouts counted six pieces of Rebel artillery moving down the valley. 
By noon the Union force had been pushed back within two and a half miles 
of Beverly, and one hour later the fog lifted, and the Confederate army 
was in full view. In his official report Colonel Latham says: 

"I took a strong position on the south side of the town, commanding 
the entire valley and the Staunton turnpike above, but flanked by back 
ridges on each side. About 2 o'clock the action was opened with artillery 
and infantry, skirmishing at long range. A large force of the enemy's cav- 
alry and a part of his artillery were now seen advancing on the back road 
west of the valley, toward the road leading from Beverly to Buckhannon, 
and actually turning our right. This movement it was impossible for us to 
counteract, though the river intervening we were not in much danger of an 
actual attack from this force. The object of this movement was to prevent 
our retreat toward Buckhannon. Three regiments of his infantry were at 
the same time continually advancing through the woods, pressing back our 
skirmishers toward our front and left, his artillery playing directly in front, 
with two regiments of infantry in reserve. At 4 p. m. the action had be- 
come quite brisk along our whole line; our skirmishers were driven in on 
our front, and the enemy had advanced within canister range. The com- 
mands of his officers could be distinctly heard, and he was pressing well 
beyond our left. Shortly after this I received orders to fall back. I imme- 
diately set my train in motion; destroying my public stores of all kinds, and 
about 5 p. m. drew off my forces. The movement was executed in perfect 


order, and though the enemy pressed our rear for six miles, and twice 
charged us with his cavalry, there was no confusion, no hurry, no indecent 
haste. His cavalry charges were handsomely repulsed, and he learned to 
follow at a respectful distance. We marched nine miles, and having gained 
a safe position, rested for the night, our pickets and those of the enemy 
being a mile apart." 

The next morning the Federals continued their retreat to Belington, 
thence to Philippi where they camped over night, and the next day, April 
26, reached Buckhannon, where other Union forces were gathered, making 
a total of 2800, which was sufficient to have stopped the advance of Inibo- 
den, especially as General Mulligan was holding his own in Barbour County, 
and keeping back the Confederates who were trying to reach Philippi. 
But the Union troops at Buckhannon were ordered by General Roberts to 
retreat to Clarksburg, and the way was open for Imboden to advance, and 
he was not slow in taking advantage of it. No better history of the raid, 
as it affected Randolph County, has been written than that contained in 
General Imboden's official report from which the following somewhat leng- 
thy extract is taken, beginning with the march from Huttonsville toward 
Beverly : • 

' 'It continued to rain all night, and the morning of the 24th was one of 
the most gloomy and inclement I ever saw. At an early hour I started all 
my infantry down through, the plantations on the east side of the river, 
where they were joined by four guns of my battery seven miles above Bev- 
erly. The cavalry and a section of artillery took the main road on the west 
side of the river, under Colonel George W. Imboden, with orders as soon as 
they discovered the enemy to be in Beverly to press forward and gain pos- 
session of the road leading to Buckhannon, and cut off retreat by that 
route. About five miles above Beverly the cavalry advance met a man, 
who, as soon as he saw them, fled. They fired upon him, but he escaped. 
It turned out to be the bogus State Sheriff of Randolph County, named J. 
P. Phares, who, though shot through the lungs, succeeded in reaching 
Beverly and gave the alarm. About the same time, on the east side of the 
river we captured a storage train and its escort. I learned from the prison- 
ers that the enemy was in ignorance of our approach; but as soon as 
Phares reached town and gave the alarm, the whole force was drawn up to 
fight us. About a mile above the town they opened upon the head of my 
column with artillery. On reconnoitering their position, I found them 
strongly posted on a plateau fifty or sixty feet above the river bottom and 
commanding it and the road for more than a mile so completely that to 
attack in front would probably involve the loss of hundreds of my 
men before I could reach them. I at once resolved to turn their position by 
making a detour of over two miles across a range of steep and densely- 
wooded hills, and attempt to get round to the north of the town. To 
occupy their attention I placed a rifle piece on the first hill and engaged 
their battery. The cavalry, under a dangerous fire; dashed forward and 
gained the Buckhannon road west of the river, and cut off retreat by that 
route. The enemy immediately began to fall back below the town, leaving 
a strong force of skirmishers in the woods, which my infantry had to pass. 
A running fight was kept up more than two miles through these woods, and 
a little before sunset I had succeeded in gaining the north side of the town, 
but too late to cut off retreat toward Philippi. The enemy was in full 
retreat and about one third of the town in flames when I gained their origi- 


nal flank. We pursued until dark but could not overtake them. My cav- 
alry attempted to intercept them from the west side of the river at or near 
Laurel Hill, but the difficulty and the depth of the ford and the lateness of 
the hour prevented it. 

' 'I have been thus minute in these details to explain why we did not 
capture the whole force at Beverly. Slayton was unable to cross Cheat 
River, owing to the high water, and they were really ignorant of our ap- 
proach until the wounded man gave the alarm. We found him in almost a 
dying condition, though he will probably recover. The attack was so 
sudden that the enemy could not remove his stores or destroy his camp. 
His loss was not less than $100,000, and about one-third of the town was 
destroyed in burning his stores. I lost three men, so badly wounded that 
I had to leave them in Beverly. The enemy's loss was trifling. 

"On the morning of the 25th my cavalry reported the road toward 
Philippi impracticable for artillery or wagons, on account of the depth of 
the mud, in places coming up to the saddle-skirts of the horses. I also 
ascertained that General Roberts, with a considerable force was at Buck- 
hannon, and I doubted the prudence of going directly to Philippi until this 
force was dislodged from my flank. I sent off two companies of cavalry, 
under Major D. B. Lang, to try to open communication with General 
Jones,* from whom I had not heard anything, and resolved to cross Rich 
Mountain, and either move directly on Buckhannon, or by a country road 
leaving the turnpike four miles beyond Roaring Creek, get between Phil- 
ippi and Buckhannon, and attack one or the other, as circumstances might 

"On the evening of the 26th I crossed Middle Pork and encamped 
about midway between Philippi and Buckhannon, some twelve miles from 
each, sending all my cavalry forward to seize and hold the bridge across 
Buckhannon River, near its mouth. Considerable cannonading was heard 
at this time in the direction of Philippi, which I supposed to proceed from 
the enemy we had driven from Beverly, in an attempt to prevent Major 
Lang from going towards the railroad, where I expected him to find 
General Jones; but at 11 p. m. Colonel Imboden informed me that the 
Beverly force had passed up toward Buckhannon at sunrise that morning, 
and that there was a fresh brigade at Philippi, reported by citizens to have 
arrived the night before from New Creek, under command of General 
Mulligan, and that the cars had been running all the night previous, and 
other troops were in the vicinity. He requested me to send two regiments 
of infantry and a section of artillery to tlie bridge that night, as he was 
apprehensive of attack. He also informed me that he had captured a courier 
from Buckhannon, and that two others had escaped and gone back to the 
place. This information was all confirmed by two citizens who arrived at 
my camp from Webster. I resolved to send forward the reinforcements 
asked for, and as my troops were all very tired, I sent for my colonels to 
ascertain which regiments were in the best condition to make the march 
that night. Knowing that General Mulligan was east of the Alleghanies 
when our expedition set out, and not hearing from General Jones, it was 
the opinion of all present that he had failed to reach or interrupt commu- 
nication on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and that our position was 
exceedingly critical if. the enemy had control of that road, as he could 

*General Jones was then moving through Preston, Monongalia and Marion Counties. 


throw the whole division upon us in a few hours, and, if we were beaten, 
could cut off our retreat at Laurel Hill, Beverry and at Buckhannon or 
Weston. I concurred in the opinions of my colonels that in the face of 
this new information it would be extremely imprudent to advance farther 
or remain where we were, with the danger of being overwhelmed and cut 
off in a few hours, and that the safety of the command required that we 
should fall back to a position where escape would be possible if we were 
overpowered.* Accordingly we marched back to Roaring Creek on the 
27th. The road was so bad that it took from 5 a. m. until 2 p. m., nine 
hours, to accomplish two miles, and the command did not reach the camp 
until in the night. Having recalled my cavalry from Buckhannon Bridge, 
I sent forward a scout that night toward Buckhannon, which returned after 
midnight, reporting that the enemy had burned the bridges across Middle 
Fork and the Buckhannon Rivers, and retreated that night from Buckhan- 
non, blockading the road behind them. 

"On the 28th I passed on to within four miles of Buckhannon, and the 
next morning took possession of the town with a regiment, which I crossed 
over on the debris of the burnt bridge. The enemy had burned all his 
stores here and destroyed two pieces of artillery, which he was unable to 
move. On account of the extraordinary bad roads, 1 had been compelled 
to leave at the Greenbrier River, east of Cheat Mountain, forty-odd barrels 
of flour, and also several barrels in Beverly. Our horses were giving out 
in large numbers, and some dying from excessive labor and insufficient 
sustenance. Not being able to cross my artillery and horses over the 
river, on my arrival I ordered a raft to be constructed, and the country to 
be scoured in every direction for corn and wheat: impressed two mills and 
run them day and night. Grain was very scarce and had to be procured in 
small quantities, sometimes less than a bushel at a house. I employed a 
considerable portion of my cavalry in collecting cattle and sending them to 
the rear. I required everything to be paid for at fair prices, such as were 
the current rates before we arrived in the country. This gave general sat- 
isfaction in the country, and our currency was freely accepted. On the 29th 
I received my first information from General Jones, and on the same day I 
ascertained that the enemy was massing his troops at Janelew, a village 
about midway between Buckhannon and Clarksburg, and fortifying his 
position. The 30th was spent in collecting corn and cattle. 

"On May 1, hearing nothing further from General Jones, I sent Colo- 
nel Imboden to Weston with his regiment of cavalry. He found the place 
evacuated and the stores destroyed, but got confirmation of the fact that 
the enemy was at Janelew. Fearing that General Jones had been cut off in 
his effort to join me, I gave orders that night to move early the next 
morning to Philippi. My raft was completed and I was ready to cross the 
river. Just as we commenced moving on the morning of the 2nd, a courier 
arrived with the intelligence that General Jones was within six miles. On 
receiving this information I changed my direction of march toward Weston, 

*General Jones had, at that time, succeeded in cutting the Baltimore and Ohio "Rail- 
road, but he had been delayed five hours at Greenland Gap, Grant County, by 80 Union 
troops under Captain Martin Wallace, who fortified themselves in a log church in the 
pass and held the Confederates in check until General Mulligan had passed west over the 
railroad with his command. Soon after Mulligan had passed, General Jones stormed the 
church, and sent cavalry to Oakland to cut the railroad. They arrived too late to inter- 
cept Mulligan, but prevented reinforcements from following him. For further particu- 
lars of the movements of Jones and Mulligan see a preceding chapter of this book. 


feeling confident that with General Jones' brigade and my own force united 
we would be strong enough to hold our own and probably defeat the enemy 
at Janelew or Clarksburg. 


The next military movement in Randolph County was the advance of 
General William L. Jackson with 1200 Confederates against Beverly; his 
skirmishes with Colonel Thomas M. Harris, and his retreat before General 
Averell who came up with reinforcements. The Confederates entered Ran- 
dolph July 1, 1863, by three routes, intending to surround Beverly and cap- 
ture the Union force of about 800 stationed there. One division of Confed- 
erates advanced from Pocahontas County, by way of Valley Head; another 
division advanced by the Staunton and Parkersburg pike, through Cheat 
Pass, while a third division made its way through woods and by mountain 
paths by way of Slaven's Cabin, and emerged below Beverly on the Phil- 
ippi pike. This detachment was under Colonel A. C. Dunn, and he was to 
attack Beverly from the north when he heard the cannon which would be 
fired as a signal for attack. Jackson made all his arrangements to sur- 
round Beverly and leave no room for retreat for the Union forces. He 
sent two companies under Major J. B. Lady to make their way through the 
woods along the base of Rich Mountain, and seize and hold the Buckhannon 
road, and also to attack Beverly when the signal cannon were heard. As a 
guard against an attack on Major Lady's rear from the direction of Buck- 
hannon, Sergeant Rader with a squad of twenty men was sent to the 
Middle Pork Bridge, eighteen miles west of Beverly. He seized the bridge 
and held it. On July 2 Jackson's main forces reached Huttonsville, and he 
threw his scouts around the Federal picket posts and captured every picket 
on the Huttonsville road to within a mile and a half of Beverly — twenty- 
eight in all. He believed he was about to surprise the town, but his plans 
were betrayed by a woman, whose name he does not mention in his report 
of the expedition. She informed the Federals of the proximity of Confed- 
erates, and Colonel Harris telegraphed to General Averell for re-inforce- 
ments, and Averell advanced with three regiments of cavalry from Phil- 
ippi, having first telegraphed Harris to hold out if possible. Averell had 
but lately taken charge of the Union forces in this section, having succeed- 
ed General Roberts in command. 

Gen. Jackson moved cautiously toward Beverly, sending 200 men across 
the river to attack the right of the Union position, and purposely delaying 
his attack to give Colonel Dunn time to get in position. When the Confed- 
erates reached the Burnt Bridge, two miles above town, the skirmishing 
began, the Federals falling back slowly toward the town, and the Confeder- 
ates advancing. Believing that all was in readiness for the attack and that 
he had Beverly surrounded, Jackson, at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of July 
2, fired the signal cannon for the battle to begin. There was no response 
from Dunn, and General Jackson, from the summit of a hill, searched the 
country beyond Beverly to see where the troops under Dunn were. Noth- 
ing of them could be seen, and the attack was still further delayed to give 
them more time to get into position. Finally Jackson began the battle, but 
found that his artillery was no match for that of the union forces. Not more 
than one shell in fifteen exploded, while scarcely a Federal shell failed to 


explode.* The Union force occupied Butcher Hill, now called Mount Iser. 
Night came, and Dunn still did not put in an appearance, nor had he come 
in sight by the next morning. Jackson grew desperate, and proposed to 
assault the Federal position without the assistance of Dunn's forces; but a 
few minutes later, while again looking beyond Beverly for the long-delayed 
troops that were to attack from that quarter, he beheld a sight which in- 
stantly changed all his plans. Instead of Dunn, he saw three regiments of 
cavalry, led by Averell in person, sweeping up the valley. Jackson sent 
couriers to call in his out-lying detachments and fled up the valley to Hut- 
tonsville, pursued by Averell, with skirmishing; but the Confederates did 
not stop to risk a general battle. They retreated over the mountain, back 
to Virginia. There had been but little fighting, the Rebels losing four 
killed, five wounded. The Union forces lost fifty-five prisoners. 

It is to be noted that the Confederate general blamed his subordinate, 
Colonel Dunn, with the miscarrage of the expedition, and his failure to take 
Beverly; and the Federal general blamed his subordinate, Colonel Harris, 
with the failure to capture the Confederate force. Colonel Dunn had 
reached his position, but some one told him of Averell's advance, and he 
retreated, just before the Union troops surrounded his position. General 
Jackson placed him under arrest. Averell says: "Had Colonel Harris fur- 
nished me with timely warning of the approach of the enemy, I should have 
killed, captured or dispersed his entire command. As it was he received 
but a slight lesson, "f 

General Averell stationed a strong force at Beverly during the re- 
mainder of the summer of 1863, and posted pickets on the roads leading east 
and south. Occasionally these pickets had skirmishes with scouting parties 
of Confederates. On September 25 a picket of thirty men on the Senaca 
Trail, where it crosses Cheat, nine miles northeast of Beverly, was attacked 
and captured by one hundred Confederates under Major D. B. Lang, who 
were returning from a raid into Barbour County. Two Federals were 
wounded and one was drowned in trying to escape across Cheat. Four days 
before that, Averell's picket had a fight on Shaver Mountain with a scout- 
ing party, defeated it, killing Wash Taylor, wounded another man and 
captured two. The report that a squad of thirty Confederates were at the 
same time moving into Tucker County, caused Averell to send a force after 
them. On the same night three or four rockets were sent up on the moun- 
tain west-southwest of Beverly, and a strong Federal scouting party was 
sent to ascertain what it meant. Nothing was discovered. 


On the morning of October 29, 1864, a peculiar, and for the Confeder- 

*The Federals had a rifled Parrott gun on the hill where J. B. Ward's house now 
stands, and the artillerists had practiced firing' at targets and trees a mile or two beyond 
the river, until they became remarkably accurate. The Confederates planted a cannon 
on the present farm of M. J. Coberly, and a lively artillery duel resulted. But the dis- 
tance was too great for accuracy, and the Federals moved their cannon forward to the 
bluff where D. R. Baker now lives, and the first shot cut the axle of the Confederate 

tit has been asserted, and the truth vouched for by reliable men, that the 
real trouble with Colonel Dunn, and the cause of his failure, was that two barrels of ex- 
cellent Randolph County whiskey fell into his hands in an evil hour, and that he and 
his men were so drunk they did not know whether they were Confederate or Union 


ates a disastrous, attack was made by 360 Rebels under Major Houston 
Hall upon a force of about equal strength under Colonel Robert Youart, 
stationed at Beverly. The following account of it is from Colonel Youart's 
report; Major Hall made no report of the fight: 

"Major Hall with a force of Confederates 360 strong, from Jackson's 
command made an attack on this detachment at 5 a. m. They expected to 
surprise us and catch the command asleep. As it was, the men were in 
rank for reveille roll-call. The Rebels had flanked the mounted pickets 
and patrols and crept up to the inner and dismounted picket line, 150 yards 
from camp. At the picket's challenge, they charged with a yell for the 
camp, over an open field. The men of my command, at the Rebel Yell, 
broke into the huts for their arms. The front company was thrown out as 
skirmishers, but the Rebel line swept it back. The other companies had 
half formed when the Rebel fire scattered the 125 unarmed men of my com- 
mand through the camp, and broke up for a time all organization. Then 
began a struggle among the quarters. In the darkness, friemi and foe 
were hardly distinguishable. Both parties were taking and guarding 
prisoners at the same time. The Rebel force was divided and one half was 
shifted to the rear of camp. When day broke, I with other officers had ral- 
lied and formed about fifty men, and ordered a charge on the force in the 
rear. The Rebels were started. A second charge routed them. I then 
turned my attention to the force in front and routed it. I ordered immediate 
pursuit, which resulted in the capture of nearly all the force operating in 
the front of camp. Our loss was eight killed, twenty-three wounded and 
thirteen captured. The Rebel loss was, four drowned while trying to es- 
cape; twenty-five wounded and ninety-two captured." 


On January 11, 1865, Beverly was captured by 300 Confederates under 
General Rosser, who made a night attack, killing six, wounding twenty- 
three and taking 580 prisoners. The Federal forces were commanded by 
Colonel Robert Youart. From the standpoint of complete surprise and a 
small force capturing a larger, the feat was not many times surpassed dur- 
ing the war. General Crook appointed two officers to examine into 
the capture of Beverly, and following is a portion of the report, made by 
Colonel Nathan Wilkinson, one of the officers. It is the fullest account of 
the affair to be found in the official records of the war. No report of it ex- 
ists from the Confederate standpoint, except a brief note by General Lee 
addressed to the Secretary of War of the Southern Confederacy, on January 
'15, 1865, which is as follows: 

' 'General Early reports that Rosser, at the head of 300 men, surprised 
and captured the garrison at Beverly, Randolph County, on the 11th 
instant, killing and wounding a considerable number, and taking 580 priso- 
ners. His loss slight." 

Colonel Wilkinson in his report filed a map of Beverly and the roads by 
which it could be approached, and located the pickets and sentinels at the 
time the attack was made, and then says: 

"The pickets during the day were posted as follows: At Russell's, on 
the Philippi road, a corporal and three men; at the Burnt Bridge, on 
Staunton pike, four mounted men; at the bridge on the Buckhannon road, 
in the town, a corporal and three men, and sentinels beyond. At dark the 
pickets were withdrawn from Russell's and Burnt Bridge, and in their 


stead single sentinels were posted. These night sentinels were respectively 
about 400 yards from camp and about 300 yards from each other, all were 
relieved from camp every two hours. The enemy, about 700 mounted men, 
wearing U. S. overcoats, under General Rosser, came in from Crab Bottom 
by the Staunton and Beverly pike. At the foot of Cheat Mountain they left 
the pike and took a road leading on the east side of the Valley River, and 
made a detour around the camp and town on an old dirt road, and formed 
their line of battle in a hollow, within 450 yards of the camp. The sentinel 
saw the Rebels approaching, and challenged them, "Who comes there?" 
The reply was, 'Friends.' He moved toward them and was captured. 
The first intimation our forces had of the presence of the enemy was the 
Rebels forcing the doors of the quarters, demanding a surrender. The sur- 
prise was complete. Our forces did not have time to rally even one com- 
pany together. Quite a number of the officers of both regiments were ex- 
amined and all testified that they had repeatedly called the attention of" the 
commanding officers to the insufficiency of the guard for picket duty. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Youart himself states that owing to the severity of the 
weather, the high water in the rivers, and the statements of the citizens that 
it was impossible for the enemy to attack at that time of the year, he felt 
perfectly secure. 

"Major Butters testified that he notified Lieutenant-Colonel Furney 
that the guard was insufficient, and if the forces were attacked they would 
be captured. At that time Furney was in command at Beverly during the 
absence of Colonel Youart at Cumberland, Maryland. Youart returned 
from Cumberland and resumed command two days before the attack by 
Genera] Rosser. The testimony was that all the officers of the Thirty- 
fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry were quartered in town, not one with the 
regiment, and it has been unofficially reported to me that on the evening 
previous to the attack there was a ball in the town which was largely attended 
by officers who remained there till a late hour of the night. From the evi- 
dence produced it appears that the whole command was latterly in a very 
loose state of discipline. "* 

About 400 Federals escaped to Philippi, many of them without arms. 
Their supplies at Beverly nearly all fell into the hands of the Confederates. 
General Crook, when he forwarded the testimony to headquarters, recom- 
mended "that Colonel Furney and Colonel Youart be dismissed the service 
for disgraceful neglect of their commands, and for permitting themselves 
to be surprised and the greater part of their commands captured, in order 
that worthy officers may fill their places, which they have proved them- 
selves incompetent to hold. " The Federal authorities spoke of withdraw- 
ing all forces from Beverly, declaring that the leaving of a small body of 
troops there served only as a bait to the Rebels. The town was never after 
that attacked, f 

*It was on this occasion that Rosser burned the bridge across the river at Beverly. 
Colonel Youart was asleep at the hotel when the attack was made. He left his saber 
behind in his flight, and it is still in possession of A. Buckey of Beverly. A song of that 
date began: 

"Rosser went upon a raid 

And captured Youart 's whole brigade." 

tWaddell's Journal, published in the "Annals of Augusta County," says under date 
of January 20, 1865: "The prisoners captured by Rosser at Beverly (600 or 700) were sent 


off by railroad to-day. They suffered greatly from cold and hunger, as our soldiers have. 
Several of them died on the way to Staunton, and others will probably not survive long. 
After the train started I saw one of the prisoners lying on the pavement at the corner of 
the Court-House yard. A crowd was arround him, some of whom said he was dying. 
He was taken to the Confederate military hospital." 

Many of the prisoners were marched from Beverly to Staunton barefoot through the 

The Sugartree under which Gen- 
eral Rosecrans and bis officers met to 
arrange the final details for attacking 
the Confederates at Rich Mountain, 
July 11,1861. 




The highest point in Randolph County is Snyder Knob, on Cheat 
Mountain, near the Pocahontas line. It is 4730 feet, and is only 130 feet 

below the highest summit in West Virginia. The 
lowest point in the county is the bed of Shaver's 
Pork of Cheat, where it crosses the Randolph - 
Tucker line. The point is 1765 feet. There is not 
twenty-five feet difference in the altitude of Shav- 
er's Pork at that point and the bed of the Valley 
River, where it crosses the line into Bai'bour 
County. The vertical range of the county — from 
the highest point to the lowest point — is 2965. It 
is, of course, understood that all altitudes are 
measured from sea level; and when a point is stat- 
ed to be 4730 feet, it is meant that it is that high 
above the level of the ocean.* The ground on 
which the Court House in Beverly stands is exactly 2000 feet above the sea. 
With this fact impressed on the memory, it will be easy to calculate how 
much higher or lower than Beverly the various elevations are which are 

The channel of Elk River where it enters Randolph from Pocahontas is 
2390 feet; where it flows from Randolph into Webster it is 2000. The 
stream, therefore, has a fall of 390 feet in Randolph County. 

The bed of the Buckhannon River where it crosses the Randolph-Up- 
shur line at Newlon is 1900. The stream has its source in Randolph among 
mountains 3500 feet high. 

The bed of the brook which is the source of the Tygart's Valley River, 
is 3100 feet where it crosses the Pocahontas-Randolph line. The channel 

Soyder's Knob, as seen from 
tbe Mouth of Elkwater. 

For additional information on altitudes in West Virginia see chapter VIII in this 




at Valley Head is 2500 feet; where it leaves the county, 1775. The total 
fall of the river in its course through Randolph is 1325 feet. 

The bed of the East Pork of the Greenbrier River where it crosses the 
Randolph-Pocahontas line is 3300 feet. The bed of the West Pork of the 
Greenbrier where it crosses from Randolph into Pocahontas is 2880 f^et. 
The Greenbrier rises in Randolph among mountains more than 4500 feet 

The channel of the First Pork of Shaver's Pork of Cheat River, where 
it crosses the Randolph line from Pocahontas is 3700 feet. Where the river 
leaves Randolph its channel is 1765. The fall of the stream in its course 
through the county is 1930 feet. That is 170 feet more than the fall of the 
stream in its course of nearly three thousand miles, from the Randolph line 
to the Gulf of Mexico. 

The bed of Otter Fork on the Randolph-Tucker line is 2100 feet; and 
Dry Fork has the same altitude where it crosses the line into Tucker 

The following table will show the elevation in feet of some of the towns, 
post offices and places in Randolph. 

Middle Pork Bridge 1900 

Elkins 1950 

Kerens 2000 

Beverly 2000 

Lick 2000 

Orlena 2000 

Montrose 2050 

Valley Bend 2050 

Huttonsville 2080 

Lee Bell 2100 

Cassity 2100 

Long 2100 

Crickard 2100 

Roaring Creek 2150 

Elkwater 2200 

Avondale 2200 

W. Huttonsville 2300 

McCauley 2400 

Helvetia 2400 

Alpina 2400 

Harman 2400 

Day's Mills 2450 

Mouth Fishing Hawk 2480 

Valley Head 2500 

Kingsville 2500 

Pumpkintown 2550 

Job 2600 

Pickens 2700 

Mingo Flats 2700 

Huff 2800 

Blue Spring 2900 

Florence 2900 

Fairview Church 2900 

Glady 2900 

Buckwheat Church. . .3050 

Monterville 3300 

Osceola 3400 

The Sinks 3400 

Rich Mountain 3400 

Winchester 3600 

Middlebrook 3800 

Brush CampLow Place 4000 

It is usual for roads which cross mountains to seek the lowest gaps in 
the ranges. This being the case, figures will be of interest which show the 
altitudes of certain roads where they pass over mountains. 

The pike from Beverly to Buckhannon, where it passes over Rich 
Mountain (the battlefield), is 3000 feet. Highest point on the same pike 
between Roaring Creek and Middle Pork, 2600. Where the pike from 
Beverly to Staunton crosses Cheat Mountain (the military camp), 3750. 
Where the same road crosses the Randolph-Pocahontas line, 3800. The 
road from Beverly to Circleville crosses Cheat Mountain at an altitude of 
3550; it crosses Shaver's Mountain at 3000; Middle Mountain, 3750; Rich 
Mountain, 3600; Alleghany Mountain, *4240. The road from Elkins to Dry 
Pork ci'osses Cheat Mountain at an altitude of 2460 feet; Shaver's Moun- 
tain, 3150; Middle Mountain, 3240; Rich Mountain, 3500. The highest 
point between Kerens and the head of Pheasant Run is 2350 feet. The 
highest point on the road from Montrose to Clover Run is 2400; from 
Elkins to Belington, the top of Laurel Hill (the military camp) 2600. 

Randolph is justly celebrated for its lofty and picturesque mountains. 
In the chapter on the county's geology, in this book, some description of 
their structure and history is given. In the chapter on the State's climate* 
their influence upon the winds and rains is spoken of; and in the present 

*See pages 78, 79 and 80. 



chapter, the elevations of some of the principal knobs and peaks will suffice. 
The following table gives the altitudes in feet above the level of the sea. 

Snyder Knob 4730 

High Knob 4710 

Crouch Knob 4G00 

Barton Knob 4600 

Green Knob 4600 

Sharp Knob 4545 

Tony Camp Mt 4510 

Cunningham Knob 4485 

Brier Patch Mt 4480 

Roaring Plains 4400 

Ward Knob 4400 

Yoakum Knob 4330 

Bradshaw Hill 4320 

Gregg's Knob 4310 

Elk Mountain 4300 

Button's Knob 4260 

Bayard's Knob 4150 

Haine's Knob 4130 

Mingo Knob 4120 

Bickle Knob 4020 

Mast Knob 4000 

Round Knob 4000* 

Chenoweth Knob 3870 

Round Knob 3800t 

Whitman's Knob 3800 

Little Beech Mt 3700 

Shaver's Mountain 3700 

Turkey Bone Mt 3700 

Blue Knob 3700 

Bee Knob 3600 

Lone Tree 3570 

Currence Knob 3500 

Beech Mountain 3500 

Hawflat Knob 3500 

Lvnn Knob 3500 

Nettlv Mt 3400 

Palace Ridge 3000 

Bear Knob 2900 

Kelly Knob 2900 

Cranberry Flat 2800 

Whitman's Flat 2750 


Below will be found a table of distances from Beverly to various points 
in Randolph and neighboring counties; also the directions from Beverly to 
those points. The distances are "air lines," that is, they are measured in 
straight lines from Beverly to the points named, and take no account of the 
irregularities of the country. Such lines are shorter than any road con- 
necting the points, and in some cases are little more than half as long. 


Lone Tree 


Valley Bend 

Roari ng Creek 






Middle Fork Bridge. 

Cheat Mountain 



Sinks of Gandy 

Valley Head 




Traveler's Repose.... 






Direct 'n 

N. of W. 
E. of N. 
S. W. 
W. N.W. 
E. S. E. 
S. W. 
N. E. 
E. of N. 
W. of 1ST. 

S. w. 

E. of N. 
S. E. 
S. W. 
E. N. E. 
W. S. w. 
N. N.E. 
E. of S. 


Circle ville 


Mingo Flats 

St. George 


Mouth of Senaca 
































E. S. E. 

W. N.W. 

s. s. w. 

E. of 1ST. 
W. of N. 

E. S. E. 
W. of N. 
N. N. E. 
E. 1ST. E. 
E. S. E. 

s. s. w. 

E. of N. 
S. of W. 
E. N. E. 

1ST. of W. 


Tygart's Valley was never a lake, although many persons have sup- 
posed that it was, and that it was drained by the cutting of the gorge 
through Laurel Hill, below the mouth of Leading Creek. The broad and 
flat bottom lands, and the rim of mountains all round, enclosing the basin, 

* Near the head of Greenbrier River. 
t Near the head of Buckhannon River. 



with the gap through the mountain for the outlet, have suggested, and 
naturally so, that there was an inland sheet of water, forty miles long, and 
that the water accumulated until it overflowed Laurel Hill, and cut the 
gorge for drainage." The lake theory presumes that the bottom of the 
valley was the bottom of the lake, and that the surrounding mountains 
were practically the same as they are now, as to height and shape. There 
are several arguments that might be presented, any one of which would 
show conclusively that such a lake never existed. One is that the rainfall 
in the basin drained by Tygart's Valley, would never have furnished enough 
water to fill the lake to overflowing. To have overtopped Laurel Hill, the 
water of the lake must have accumulated to a depth of at least 800 feet. 
With four feet of rain a year, which is rather an over estimate, two hun- 
dred years would have been required to accumulate enough water, had none 
been carried off by evaporation. But evaporation would carry it away three 
times as rapidly as rain would furnish it. Consequently it never could ac- 
cumulate more then a few feet at the lower end of the valley. It would dry 
up, except at the lower end of the basin. Perhaps the whole floor of the 
valley, even in the wettest season, would never be covered. It would stand 
200 feet deep at Elkins before the backwater could reach Valley Head, since 
the floor of the valley slopes that much between the two points. 

If the argument that evaporation would balance precipitation, and pre- 
vent the accumulation of water, is answered by the claim that in early 
geological times the rainfall here was much greater than it is at present (a 
claim not supported by fact or theory), still the lake could not have existed 
and cut the gorge through Laurel Hill. No one can dispute the fact that, 
had the basin without an outlet existed, and had the rainfall exceeded 
evaporation, water would have risen higher and higher until it overflowed 
the rim of the basin. But if it had done so it would not have found an out- 
let over Laurel Hill where the gorge was cut, because that was not the 
lowest place in the rim of the basin. The water would, -of course, have 
sought the lowest gap through the surrounding mountains. Draw a line 
across the gorge in Laurel Hill, from the top of the mountain on one side 
to the top on the other, and the line will be 800 feet above the valley. The 
water must have risen that much to overflow there. But before it had 
risen 300 feet it would have flowed out through the low gap at the head of 
Pheasant Run, and Tagart's Valley River would have emptied into Cheat 
River. A rise of 300 feet would also have given the lake an outlet down 
Haddix Run, also into Cheat River. A rise of 350 feet would have over- 
flowed the gap at the head of Clover Run, and would have given an outlet 
into Cheat River at St. George. A, rise of 450 would have given an outlet 
through the gap into the head of Mill Run, a branch of Glady Creek which 
flows past Meadowville, and empties into the Valley River near Philippi. 
Thus it is seen that there were four gaps in the rim of the basin through 
which the lake (had there been a lake) would have found an outlet long be- 
fore it could have risen high enough to overflow Laurel Hill. This is proof 
positive that the gorge through that mountain was not cut by water escap- 
ing from a lake. 

Then what formed the peculiar and basin-like valley? The same agency 
that has formed nearly every other valley in the world — running water. 
The river has scooped out the valley. Still the valley is a pecular and 
wonderful form of geological sculpture. Generations have lived and died 



in it, enjoying its exquisite scenery, its level lands, and the green moun- 
tains on both sides, and yet not knowing that the world does not furnish 

many valleys like it, when 
its geological history is con- 
sidered. It is what geolo- 
gists call an "anticlinal val- 
ley." That is, it is neither 
more nor less than a deep, 
wide trough scooped out 
longitudinally along the 
summit of a mountain. The 
whole top is gone. The 
flanking ridges of the once 
enormous mountain remain 
alonff each side of the val- 

__ s 



CrosS'Sectioo Showing the Sculpture of 
Tygart's Valley* 

ley. That on the west is called Rich Mountain and that on the east, 
Cheat Mountain. The space between them, and rising 2000 feet higher than 
either, was once filled. The river has cut out the central part and left the 
sides. The ancient summit was more than 5000 feet above the present floor 
of the valley. If the part which has been washed away were restored it 
would bend as a vast arch from the top of Cheat Mountain to the top of 
Rich Mountain, reaching to the clouds. Then, instead of a lake, there was 
once a mountain, occupying and risinsr directly above the valley, more than 
two thousand feet higher than the highest peak now existing in West 

There is no lack of evidence to substantiate these statements. The 
older persons who will read this book do not need evidence, as the most of 
them are familiar with the subject; but the young, into whose hands this 
book will fall, are not yet so fortunate, their education not yet having famil- 
iarized them with the facts of geology and geography with which they are 
surrounded. For their benefit, rather than for those who are older, the 
following outline of the manner of mountain-building and valley-making in 
this part of West Virginia will be given. In a former chapter of this book 
a general view was taken of the geology of the State. The argument ad- 
vanced there will not be repeated here. It has been shown that all the 
rocks in this part of West Virginia were formed of sand, mud and shells on 
the bottom of the ocean which once covered this region. Great layers of 
rock, each hundreds of feet thick, were deposited one upon another. They 
lay flat and level, like sheets of paper, and the same layers extended, not 
only over Randolph County, but eastw-ard to the Valley of Virginia, north- 
ward to Pennsylvania, southward to Tennessee, and westward toward Ohio. 
Although these layers were flat and level at first, they were afterwards 
lifted above the sea, and the strain to which they were subjected, bent and 
folded them, squeezed them from the sides, and raised them in ridges and 
valleys. The horizontal thrust was as if one force were pushing from the 
direction of the Ohio River and another from the direction of the Valley of 
Virginia. That is, one force acted from the northwest toward the south- 

* The letters and figures in the cut represent: B— Beverly; R— Tygart's River; S — 
summit of the ancient mountain ; 1 — the stratum of roclc called The Great Conglomerate; 
2— Canaan Formation; 3— Greenbrier Limestone; 4— Pocono Sandstone; 5— Hampshire 
Formation; 8— Jennings Formation, the floor of the valley; 7— Romney Shale, lying 
just beneath the valley floor. 


east, and the other force from the southeast toward the northwest. The 
result was that the strata, acted upon from both directions, were bent in 
enormous folds and arches, like waves on water. This is why we seldom 
see ledges lying flat, but nearly always tilted one way or the other. 

There were four prominent folds or anticlines between the Ohio River 
and the Valley of Virginia, and many smaller ones, along a line drawn 
nearly southeast and northwest, through Beverly and Franklin. The first 
anticline (arch) is centered on Long Ridge, west of the Shenandoah Moun- 
tains; the next just west of it, produces Castle Mountain; the third, still 
west, has its center in North Fork Mountain, and the fourth produced the 
enormous mountain which arched over the Tygart's Valley River, of which 
Cheat Mountain and Rich Mountain are the remnants, the central and higher 
part having been worn away. There is no large fold west of Rich Moun- 
tain, the layers being nearly horizontal from there to the Ohio River; nor 
are there remnants of any large folds east of the Valley of Virginia. If 
such existed they are worn away. This description is meant only as an ex- 
pression, in the most general terms, of the structure. There are folds and 
flexures, almost without number, making a network over the whole area, 
and forming a complex system intricate in the extreme. But the four great 
anticlines mentioned are the chief features. If the foldings could be restored 
and made to appear as they would be if none of the upper strata had been 
worn and washed away, we would now have four great mountain ranges 
between the Ohio and the Shenandoah Valley, and there would be broken 
valleys (synclines) between the ranges. The most western range, rising 
above Tygart's Valley, would be 7000 feet high; North Fork Mountain 
would be 16,000 feet; Castle Mountain, 11,000, and Long Ridge, 10,000 feet. 
The Alleghany range would not be a mountain, but a valley. It is not the 
top of an arch or fold, but the bottom of a cyncline or trough between two 
folds. The same is true of the Shenandoah Mountain. The Roaring Plains, 
that bleak plateau on the summit of the Allghanies, are (speaking in a 
geological sense) the bottom of a valley. They would have been in the 
bottom of a valley had not the higher ground on both sides been washed 
away and scooped out. Spruce Mountain, the highest in the State, is a 
remnant of syncline or valley. It is thus seen that what was once mountain 
is now valley (as Tygart's Valley), and what was once valley in now moun- 
tain (as the Alleghany, Spruce Mountain and Shenandoah Mountain). The 
cause for the wearing away of one part faster than another is that the rock 
covering the one is softer, or is so exposed that it is more easily attacked 
by the elements. The "Great Conglomerate" is a great protector of what 
lies beneath. 

That which has so changed the face of the country, and reversed the 
order of valleys and mountains, is the flowing streams. Rocks and hills 
which seem so solid and enduring, are helpless under the merciless and 
ceaseless chiseling of the rivers and rains, the winds and frosts. They crum- 
ble to atoms. The carved and excavated foundations of the four vast i - anges 
above spoken of, are proof of the power of water in cutting away mountains. 
Fourteen thousand feet of rock, layer above layer, have been stripped from 
the top of North Fork Mountain. Could these strata be restored, they 
would bend as stupendous arches over the top of the present mountain, 
their summit covered with perpetual snow, and overtopping the loftiest peak 
now in the United States. Thousands of feet, taken as an average have 
been worn from the surface of the whole country, between Randolph 


County and the Valley of Virginia. The rains and rivers have done it, 
the rivers cutting deep trenches for slucing off the detritus, and the rains 
washing the sands and soil into the streams. The muddy water which 
comes from the uplands with every rain shows how much of the surface of 
the ground is being carried into the sea. 

Having thus turned aside for a general view of the geology of the 
region, let a return bo made to Tygart's Valley, and consider how the valley 
was formed, and what proof there is of its origin. Rivers are usually older 
than the mountains. Before the great folds of the rock were made between 
Randolph County and the Shenandoah Mountain, the country, as is believed, 
was nearly level, with a gentle slope in all directions from the highest point 
in Pendleton, Randolph and Pocahontas Counties. Prom that highest 
jxtint rivers flowed in all directions, having their sources near together. 
The tributaries of the Cheat, with Tygart's Valley River, flowed north. 
Greenbrier flowed south. Elk flowed southwest. The Little Kanawha took 
its course west, while the tributaries of the Potomac flowed east and north- 
east. These streams probably all had well-cut channels before the folding 
of the strata and the elevation of mountains in the region commenced. 
Then as the horizontal compression began, and the great folds and arches 
of rock commenced to rise above the surface, there began a contest between 
the mountains and the rivers, as to which would be master — whether the 
mountains, slowly upheaving, would turn the rivers from their courses, or 
whether the rivers would be able to cut through the mountains and continue 
in their old channels. The rivers were masters. They kept their courses, 
cutting away all obstacles. One great fold, as it happened, was upheaved 
directly under Tygart's Valley River. The river kept its course, deeping its 
channel along the summit of the mountain, which rose slowly. The amaz- 
ing slowness with which these folds were forced up surpasses compre- 
hension. There was no sudden upheaval, in a few months, or a few years; had 
there been, the rivers would have been turned aside. But ages unnumbered 
were required, perhaps, for an elevation of a few feet, giving the rivers 
ample time to cut away the rocks as they were thrust up. The process 
was continued for hundreds of thousands of years, and, for aught we know, 
is going on yet as rapidly as ever. 

The river may have been, and probably was, assisted in the work of 
excavating the valley along the summit by the rupture of the strata along 
the top of the arch. It can be seen that in bending a thick series of rocks 
into the form of an arch, the upper layers would be compelled to stretch or 
break, under the excessive strain. They would stretch to some extent; but 
the probability is that along the top of the mountain, as it was thrust up, 
the rocks were pulled asunder, forming a wide, deep crack along the entire 
summit. The river would of course take possession of this chasm for a 
channel, and would speedily widen and deepen it, forming it into a valley 
as it is now. 

Thus the process of deepening and widening Tygart's Valley was 
simple. From the small beginning, from the small, shallow trench cut by 
the river along the axis of the fold, as it began to rise, the stream has worn 
deeper and cut wider as the mountain was forced up, until we now see the 
whole core of the mountain cut out, and only the sides remaining. The 
evidence of this is not far to seek. Six great layers of rock, each clearly 
defined, have been cut through by the river. The same strata are found on 










SHl flf 









Columnar Section, Showing 
the Thickness and Orderof 
the Different Strata of 
Rock in Randolph. 

both sides ofthe valley. The lowest one is called the Jennings Formation. 
It forms the bottom of the valley. It is not yet quite 
cut through. It not only forms the floor of the valley, 
but the edges of the stratum are found along the 
hills on both sides, along the base of Cheat Moun- 
tain and Rich Mountain. Next to this is a layer many 
hundred feet thick, called the Hampshire Formation, 
named from its great development in Hampshire 
County. The edge of this formation is found a little 
higher than the Jennings, all along the base of Cheat 
Mountain. Crossing the valley to Rich Mountain, 
the same formation is found, the edge of the stratum 
just above the first hills. On the Cheat Mountain 
side the edges dip down toward the southeast. On 
the Rich Mountain side they dip to the northwest. 
The rocks on both sides of the valley rise toward the 
valley, and if continued, they would span the 
valley like an arch. The next layer above the 
Hamphshire rock is the Pocono Sandstone. This is 
not so thick; but a band of it runs along Cheat 
Mountain, and on the opposite side of the valley, at 
the same height the same rock is seen along the 
side of Rich Mountain. Above this comes a series 
of rocks of great thickness, easily distinguishable 
on account of its limestone. The series consists of 
the Canaan Formation and the Greenbrier Lime- 
stone. These rocks can be traced along the face of Cheat 'Mountain, and, 
at the same height, along the face of Rich Mountain, for the whole length 
of the valley. Like the formations above and below them, they pitch down 
into the mountains on each side of the valley, like the opposite sides of 
a vast arch, which, if continued would span the valley. Next above this 
is the Great Conglomerate, locally known as the Pickens Sandstone. It is 
a rock easily recognized. It is composed of round white pebles,in a matrix 
of sand. It is found near the tops of the mountains, along both sides of 
the valley. Above this are the Upshur Sandstone and the Pugh Formation. 
Thus it is seen that wherever a formation is founed along the face of 
Cheat Mountain, the same formation will be found, at the same altitude, on 
the opposite side of the valley against the side of Rich Mountain. Take 
the dip of any formation on both sides of the valley, and continue the lines 
from mountain to mountain, and it will be found that every formation will 
be an arch, the highest part of which will be over the center of the valley. 
The question is naturally asked: How long ago did the river commence 
its work of excavating the valley? How old is the valley? What is the 
rate of erosion? Is the valley being made deeper and wider? The answers 
can be given only approximately. Geologists never measure by years. 
They can compare the age of one valley with that of another, or one moun- 
tain with another, or a valley with a mountain; but they cannot tell the 
length of time in years, except in rare cases and in the most recent work 
of geology. Tygart's Valley has been all, or nearly all, excavated since 
the close of the Carboniferous Age. Thetioal which lies on both sides, and 
probably once extended across, above the present valley, was formed be- 
fore the folding of the rocks began, which have since been lifted into moun- 


tains and chiseled into valleys. Although the numbers of years since then 
are inconceivable, so great that the mind cannot grasp them, nor thought 
comprehend them, yet these valleys and mountains are young when com- 
pared with some of the patriarchs of geology. Old as the mountain was, 
of which Rich Mountain and Cheat Mountain are the remnants, its age is 
but as a day to a thousand years when compared with some of the other 
mountains of America. The Blue Ridge was an old, almost obliterated 
mountain, when the waves of a restless ocean rolled over the site of Rich 
Mountain and the Alleghanies, and the Blue Ridge is new and young in 
comparison with the Laurentide Hills of Canada. 

We cannot tell how much is worn away yearly from the surface of the 
mountains surrounding Tygart's Valley. Careful estimates, continued for 
many years, and based on the amount- of sediment carried by the Missis- 
sippi River into the Gulf of Mexico each year, have reached the conclusion 
that the rate o£ erosion for the whole Mississippi Valley is equal to the 
removal of the whole land surface, one foot deep, in 5000 years. Thus, for 
wearing away of one foot of surface, fifty centuries are required. Since 
the building of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Mississippi basin has not been 
lowered one foot. Tygart's Valley is a part of the Mississippi basin, and 
this valley has been worn down 5000 feet. But, on account of the steep- 
ness of the slopes, the rate here has been much more rapid than the aver- 
age rate for the whole Mississippi basin. Suppose that it has been ten 
times as rapid, or one foot in 500 years. This would give the age of Ty- 
gart's Valley, from its first beginning along the crest of the mountain, at 
2,500,000 years. No one should place much confidence in these figures. 
They may be much too great, or vastly inadequate. However, if the data 
be correct on which the calculation is based, no other conclusion is possi- 
ble. An estimate to be given by and by, based on depth of soil and rate of 
sedimentation, shows that the bed of the river has not been perceptibly 
lowered in the last thousand years. 

Tygart's River has reached that stage in its history where it ceases to 
cut deeper, but expends its energy in widening its valley. It has reached 
what is known as "the baselevel of erosion." That is, its current is not 
now strong enough to tear up the rocks underlying the valley, but is yet 
able to carry away the sediment washed in from the neighboring mountain 
slopes. It is a condition which comes to the old age of all rivers. In their 
youth, when their channels are steep, they cut downward. In their old age, 
when their currents, for want of grade, become weak, they widen their val- 
leys, but do not deepen them. A later stage is reached by some rivers 
when their currents become so weak that they can no longer carry out the 
sediment washed in from their sides. Then they fill their channels and 
their valleys with residual matter. 

The condition in which Tygart's Valley now is, is only temporary. It 
is deepening very little, but the time will come when the swift currents of 
its youth will be renewed, and then the river will plow out the bottom of 
the valley and send the soil and sand pouring down the Monongahela. A 
prophet is not necessary to foretell this chapter of the future. It will come 
as surely as effect follows cause. The cause is at work now; the effect is 
inevitable. The argument by which the conclusion is reached is as follows : 
Between Fairmont (or the foot of Valley Falls, above Fairmont,) and the 
mouth of Leading Creek, the fall of the river is more than one thousand 
feet. Those falls and rapids are all wearing up stream, working their way 


upward, leaving a deep gorge below, through^which the river flows with a 
gentle current to join the Ohio at Pittsburg. In course of time those falls, 
rapids and cataracts will cut back until they come up through the gap in 
Laurel Hill, and enter the lower end of Tygart's Valley. As they work 
their way up the river, they will cut a gorge from 700 to 900 feet deep. 
They will continue this gorge right up the center of the valley to the head 
of it. Then the bottom of the river will be several hundred feet below the 
floor of the present valley. The most of the present level land will disap- 
pear. Here and there along the sides fragments may remain, as benches 
or terraces, just as at present fragments of old valley floors are found as 
benches an,d terraces along the faces of hills in Monongahela and Marion 
Counties, and in Pennsylvania. Broad bottom lands once existed there. 
The river cut them out. The same river is advancing its falls and cata- 
racts slowly up toward Tygart's Valley, which is doomed to share the fate 
which. already has destroyed the level lands which once existed along the 
course of the Monongahela. Once the river begins cutting out the floor of 
Tygart's Valley, it will make quick work. The Romuey Shale lies a short 
distance beneath the present surface. When the cataracts attack it, it will 
go out like sand. It is too soft to resist. 


Old logs are seen protruding from beneath heavy beds of soil in many 
places throughout the valley where the river has cut away its banks and 
exposed them to view. Some of these logs have lain there for centuries, 
covered with sand and mud, and in some cases beneath gravel. Several 
logs have been uncovered at the water's edge, on the west side of the river, 
a quarter of a mile above the Beverly bridge. The 
deepest one is buried under eleven feet of soil. 
Others may seen in the bottom of the river still 
deeper. The stream at that place is cutting away 
a high bank, uncovering the timber. The origin 
of those logs is evident. They were once drift- 
wood on the river, and lodging in sheltered places 
were slowly covered by sand and silt which pre- 
served them from decay. Buried timber is found 

beneath the soil throughout the Tygart's Valley in Buried Lo s s Hear Beverly. 
such quantity as to show that the river has swung back and forth, from 
mountain to mountain, uncovering logs in one place and burying them in 
another. It would be interesting to know how long they have lain buried. 
All are not of the same age, of course. Generally speaking, those which 
are buried deepest have been there longest, for the burial process, in most 
cases, seems to have been an accumulation of silt and sediment. The prob- 
lem was to discover the average rate of accumulation of sediment in the 
bottom lands of the valley. The key to the problem was discovered in an 
excavation near the mouth of Files Creek, where a bed of charcoal was 
found beneath the surface. A furnace for drying lumber had been there, 
and had not been used for thirty-three years. The bed of charcoal was 
neatly s.ilted over. It was in a position to be flooded with every deep rise 
of the river. By making due allowance for grass roots and the unusually 
rank vegetation growing there, and the probable washing in of soil from 
higher ground nearby, it was estimated that three and one-half inches of 
sediment had accumulated in thirty-three years, or about at the rate of 


one inch in nine and a half years, or one foot in 114 years. If that rate 
holds good generally throughout the valley (the rate is probably too great 
rather than too small) it furnishes a basis for estimating the time required 
for accumulating the bed of soil on any piece of bottom land subject to 
sedimentation by the overflew of Tygart's Valley River. Multiply the 
depth of the soil in feet by 114, and it will give the years required for ac- 
cumulation. Those who use this basis of calculation should exercise cau- 
tion and take into consideration all surrounding conditions that might in- 
crease or diminish the rate of sedimentation. 

The depth of soil in the valley varies from a few inches to probably 
twenty feet. Ten feet is probably a fair average. The buried logs, above 
spoken of, under eleven feet of soil, have been there 1250 years, if the rule 
holds good. The river yet seems to be flowing on the same level as then. 
It shifts its channel slowly from mountain to mountain. No spot in the 
level valley can be found which has not at some time been the bed of the 
river. Yet, it sometimes keeps the same bed for ages. An instance of this 
is seen above Slate Ford. A low piece of bottom land is there seen, be- 
tween the present river and the bluff. It contains perhaps fifteen or twenty 
acres. On the west it is bounded by a bluff, about twenty-five feet high, 
curved like the arc of a circle. That bluff is the old river bank. It is cut 
out of rock. It marks the extreme western limit of the river since it has 
been flowing on its preset level. The stream washed the base of the bluff 
until it cut away many acres of rock, twenty five or thirty feet thick. Then 
the river made itself a channel down through the bottom farther east, and 
it ceased flowing along the base of the bluff. Since that time the bottom 
land there has been filling by sedimentation. A fine meadow now occupies 
the space between the bluff and the present river bank. The depth of the 
soil, shown in the measurement at the bank of the river, averages about 
eight feet. If the above rule holds good, more than 900 years have elapsed 
since the river occupied its channel along the base of the bluff. It is now 
working its way back toward the bluff, and flows over solid rock. Appar- 
ently its bed is on the same level as it was 900 years ago; further evidence 
that the valley is widening but not deepening. 


It is a peculiarity of this valley that few beds of gravel underlie the 
soil. The bottom lands of Cheat River and of the South Branch of the Po- 
tomac, are built upon beds of bowlders and gravel. The subsoil in 
Tygart's Valley rests upon rock, a flaggy sandstone and shale of the Jen- 
nings Formation. There are a few and unimportant gravel deposits. The 
South Branch and Cheat have powerful currents, capable of carrying 
gravel and bowlders which they bring down from the mountains in large 
quantities and deposit on the bottom lands, where they are covered by sedi- 
mentation. Tygart's River has a weak current. It carries nothing coarser 
than sand and not much of that, except of the finest grade. The lack of 
gravel underlying the soil has a direct influence upon the valley's agricul- 
tural interests. Farmers usually have trouble in securing good drainage 
for their land. The bottoms lie so flat that surface drainage is slow, and 
the solid and compact subsoil prevents good under-drainage. If beds of 
gravel were beneath, they would furnish deep drainage. Tiles placed under- 
ground would be an artificial substitute for gravel beds; but tiles have 
never been extensively used here. No factory for making them exists in 


the county, and the cost of bringing them from a distance prevents their 
general introduction. Open ditches do not give the best drainage, but they 
are an improvement on no drainage at all. They interfere with the cultiva- 
tion of the land. There are many portions of the valley which do not need 
artificial drainage. Those tracts, for the most part, are what are known as 
delta lands. They lie at the mouths of creeks which come down from the 
mountains and meet the valley. The creeks usually have stronger currents 
than the river, and they bring down coarser material, and deposit it in the 
valley. The coarser material gives better under drainag. . The delta lands 
at the mouths of creeks, covering sometimes hundreds of acres, are gener- 
ally a little higher than the adjacent river-bottoms, and this assists drain- 

Although the valley has been settled a century and a quarter, a great 
development awaits it. The land has been devoted principally to grass, 
hay and cattle, and the farms have been large. The destiny of the valley 
is that it shall be cut up into small tracts, the swamps and wet lands 
drained, the remaining thickets removed, and grain and fruit take the place 
of hay and pasture. The valley now has a population of 10,000. It could 
as easily support 40,000. It is beautiful now. Its beauty can be increased 
four fold by higher cultivation. It can be made the garden of the State. 
The surrounding mountains still lie in primeval -forests. They should be 
and will be cleared; and where now the long, graceful ridges ol Cheat and 
Rich Mountains greet the eye as almost unbroken wilderness, there will be 
mountain ranges of pasture, on which tens of thousands of cattle and sheep 
will fatten. The old citizens of Randal ph justly feel proud of their county 
and its progress. But they have scarcely witnessed the beginning. It is 
not in the province of history to deal with the future. The historian has 
done his duty if he has faithfully pictured the past. But the writer of this 
book wishes to place on record here the prediction that not many genera- 
tions will pass before the people of Randolph see a transformation of valley 
meadows and pastures into farms, orchards and gardens, with four families 
where there is one now, and the mountain forests will change into blue- 
grass-ranges, covered with flocks and herds. The State cannot furnish 
another such combination of valley and mountain, the one suited to scien- 
tific farming, the other to profitable stock-raising. The valleys are now, or 
soon will be, threaded with railroads. The mountains, while lofty, are of 
such slopes that they may be crossed nearly anywhere by excellent wagon 
roads. If wood for fuel should ever be exhausted, the coal beneath the 
ground is inexhaustible. The water-power within the county is sufficient 
to drive all the machinery in West Virginia. This power could be carried 
by electricity to any part of the State, if it were needed. The people of 
Randolph have within their reach all the possibilities man could wish. The 
young men should not emigrate to the West or the South. They have a 
better country at home. Make small farms. Fertilize them with manure, 
lime and clover. Do not bake, burn and exhaust them with patent stimu- 
lants which add nothing and sap the life. Build neat houses; big barns; 
straight fences; plant vegetables, fruits and berries; keep the best breeds 
of horses, cattle, hogs and sheep; aim to make a good living first and 
money afterwards. They will make a good living and money; and what is 
better, they will make Tygart's Valley, the surrounding mountains, and the 
whole county the pride and the wonder of the State. 



There are two coal areas in Randolph County, 'the first of compara- 
tively little importance in its present state of development, along the sum- 
mit of the Alleghany Mountains above Red Creek; the other is the Roaring 
Creek Field. The Red Creek coal belongs to the Potomac Basin, which 
extends from Cumberland, by way of Elk Garden and Davis, to the Ran- 
dolph line. The Roaring Creek coal lies in a different basin. It is the 
southern end of the veins which underlie Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, 
and Barbour Counties. The Roaring Creek Fields lie in Randolph and Bar- 
bour, between Rich Mountain and King's Mountain. The basin in which 
this coal lies is cut through by the Tygart's Valley River between Elkins 
and Philippi. The amount of coal that may be mined in the district has 
been estimated at 80,000,000 tons. It is found in different veins, and occu- 
pies a syncline or trough, one rim of which is the top of Rich Mountain, the 
other rim the top of King's Mountain. The Roaring Creek Railroad has 
tapped the field and extensive mines have been opened. 

From the. top of Rich Mountain, the edge of the Roaring Creek Field, 
to the head of Red Creek, the edge of the Potomac Field, the distance in an 
air line is nearly twenty-five miles, and between the two fields coal has not 
been found. The question may be asked: If there is coal on both sides, 
why is there none between? The answer is, that coal probably once cov- 
ered the whole area between the Roaring Creek Basin and the Potomac 
Basin. But the action of rain, frost and flowing water has stripped off the 
coal and washed it away. Why this has been the case can be clearly seen 
by a study of the geography of the country between Rich Mountain and 
Red Creek. The Potomac coal lies in a trough or basin between Backbone 
Mountain and the Alleghany. At Red Creek and Dry Fork that basin is 
broken up by mountains which rise across its end, namely East Rich Moun- 
tain, Shaver's Mountain, and Cheat Mountain. The Potomac coal probably 
extended westward and joined the Roaring Creek Fields; but when the 
above named mountains were thrust up, breaking to pieces the southwest- 
ern end of the Potomac Basin, the denunding process rapidly wore away 
the coal and adjacent rocks from all the mountain ridges, and the streams 
cut out the bottoms of the ravines, and the coal disappeared. But the 
present Potomac Basin and the Roaring Creek Basin were not broken up. 
The beds of coal, and the neighboring strata were folded gently, forming 
wide, shallow troughs, and in these troughs, or synclines, the coal was pro- 
tected from rapid wearing, and has been preserved. There can be little 
doubt that the whole of Randolph was once covered with coal. The only 
considerable patch remaining is at Roaring Creek. The rest has been 
washed away. It is not impossible that some small remnant of coal may 
exist among the mountains between Cheat Mountain and the Alleghany. 
Perhaps for every ton of coal remaining in Randolph at present, one hun- 
dred tons have been washed away in past ages. 


At different places along Tygart's Valley, on both sides, may be seen 
remnants of an old terrace which once formed the bottom of the valley. 
These strips of level land, like benches, usually lie fifty or sixty feet above 
the present bed of the river. One of the best preserved lies just south of 
the mouth of Files Creek, and extend a mile or more up the creek on the 


south side. The residence of Daniel R. Baker is situated on this terrace. 
The river, in its process of cutting deeper, remained stationary a long time 
at that level; long enough to cut far back in the ledges of rock forming the 
eastern boundary of the valley. At that time the bottom land of Files 
Creek was level with the river valley; for the same terrace extends a mile 
up the creek, forming a bench, a hundred yards wide or more, which at 
first is fifty feet above the creek, but a mile up stream has approached the 
present creek valley, and is lost in the bottom lands. 


The value of underground drainage, and its effect upon the overlying 
soil may be studied to advantage in the bottom lands about Huttonsville, 
and in a comparison of these lands with the lands lower down the valley. 
From Valley. Bend to Leading Creek the soil rests, for the most part, upon 
solid rock or shale, which holds water, prevents the soil from draining, and 
the land is inclined to be damp and heavy. About Huttonsville there is a 
layer of gravel and water-worn bowlders between the soil and the underlying 
solid rock. This gravel drains the excess of water from the soil above, 
causing it to be warmer, dryer and less compact than if it had no such 
drainage, and consequently it is better suited for grain and most other 
crops. Surface swamps and ponds in that vicinity may be drained, not by 
ditches as in the lower valley, but by wells which are sunk to the gravel 
beds. Water from the surface pours into the wells and passes off through 
the gravel. The cause for gravel beds in that part of the valley and not in 
the lower portion is to be sought in the geography and geology of the 
region. From the source of the river down to that locality the river has a 
swift current, but within a few miles of Huttonsville the valley loses much 
of its grade and the water flows less rapidly. Consequently, the current 
which carried gravel to that point is lost in the flat country, and the gravel 
and boulders were deposited there, and never reached the lower end of the 
valley. An examination of the streams which empty into the river in that 
vicinity, particularly Riffle's Run, Becca's Creek and Stewart's Run, war- 
rants the conclusion that many of the bowlders and much of the gravel 
which form the sub-stratum for the fine soil, did not come down the river 
from its headwaters, but were washed down the lateral streams from Cheat 
Mountain, and in a lesser degree from Rich Mountain, on the opposite side 
of the valley. These gravel beds, especially if one can judge by what 
appears in the present river channels, are largely made up ol fragments 
from the Pocono Sandstone, the Canaan Formation and the Pottsville Con- 
glomerate, all of which are derived from ledges near the summits of Cheat 
and Rich Mountains. They have been washing down and accumulating for 
untold centuries. The softer rocks, lying below the formations just named, 
such as the Hampshire and Jennings shales and thin sandstones (the Jen- 
nings forms the present rocky bottom of the valley and the Hampshire the 
faces of the mountains) have been ground to atoms, and comparatively 
little of that soft material now exists in the bottom of the valley as gravel. 
Most of it has been washed away, and has gone, as silt and fine sand and 
mud, down the Monongahela River. Some of it remains as soil. Intelli- 
gent farmers in that locality have observed that the land near the mouths 
of creeks, flowing down from the limestone formations, is more fertile than 
other lands not so situated. The credit for this fertility is given exclusively 
to the lime brought down by the waters; but the lime is not the sole reason, 


and probably not the chief reason,' why the land is more productive. 
These streams have strong currents; they have deposited broad deltas of 
gravel and coarse materials where they debouch into the valley; and it is as 
much due to the underground drainage and to the coarser sand mixed with 
the soil as it is to the lime that the land is better than other lands not so 


Situated on the southeastern side of the river, opposite Huttonsville, 
and also above and below, is a series of terraces about sixty feet above 
the bed of the river, and occupying four square miles or more. This was 
once the flood-plain of the river. Water-worn bowlders strewn about the 
surface, as well as burried beneath the soil, bear proof of the fact that 
strong currents once swept over this upland. It is apparently of the same 
age as the terrace south of Files Creek, at Beverly. The whole floor of the 
valley was once level with those terraces, but it has been washed out. The 
largest remaining fragment of the flood-plain lies between Riffle's Run and 
Becca's Creek. Its soil is of fine quality, and much of its area is still in 
primeval forest. An examination of the bowlders shows that they were 
mostly derived from the Pocono, the Canaan and the Pottsville rocks, near 
the summit of Cheat Mountain, or Rich Mountain on the opposite side of 
the valley. The bowlders of that particular locality were likely brought 
down from Cheat Mountain by Riffle's Run and Becca's Creek. Those 
streams are still bringing the hard bowlders down and throwing them into 
the valley, while the softer rocks are ground to sand and mud and washed 


There are a number of interesting underground caverns in Randolph 
County, and a search would no doubt reveal many more. Few of them have 
been explored to their limits, and some have never been entered beyond a 
few yards. The Greenbrier Limestone, which averages about 350 feet in 
thickness, crops out high against the faces of the mountains from Red 
Creek to the Webster County line, and all of the caves are in this lime- 
stone. They have been formed in most cases, perhaps in every case, by 
flowing water. There is nothing mysterious about their manner of forma- 
tion. Some are in their prime now; some are old and falling in; some are 
just in their infancy. They are hollowed out by the following process: All 
thick strata of rock are more or less faulted or cracked under the strains to 
which they are subjected by folding, depression, upheaval, change of tem- 
perature, different degrees of moisture, and from other causes. The water 
which falls upon the surface of the ground as rain, sinks into these minute 
crevices and follows them, in obedience to the law of gravitation, as far as 
possible, and then comes to the surface as a spring. If the rock is sand- 
stone, water has little effect upon it, in dissolving it and carrying it away, 
and the small crevices are not much enlarged by the streamlets of water 
that trickle through them. But with limestone the case is different. It 
dissolves or melts in water, and the little stream that starts in a crevice 
issues from a spring somewhere, and it is no longer the soft rainwater that 
soaked into the cracks on the hills above; but it conies out "hard" water. 
It is "hard" because it is full of limestone which it has dissolved. A cup 
of coffee will dissolve two spoonfuls of sugar, and the coffee becomes sweet. 


A cup of pure water will dissolve, in a similar way, a small quantity of 
limestone, and it can be tasted — it is hard — it is loaded with lime as the 
coffee with sugar. 

If this suggestion has not already rendered clear why caves are formed, 
a few words will suffice to do so. The water trickling through the crevice 
dissolves the limestone which it touches and carries it away, and the crevice 
grows -larger. Its increased size admits the passage of the water with less 
resistance than the smaller crevices in the vicinity; and the result is that in 
course of time multitudes of little crevices will seek and find openings into 
the larger one; and the water will become stronger and carry away more 
lime. An underground channel, which was at first only a few feet or yards 
long may join to another, and that to another, until the united length is 
hundreds of yards, or perhaps thousands. Thus a large body of water will 
flow in a subterranean passage, and in course of time — thousands of years — 
it makes it a cave. For it is almost sure to grow larger as long as water 
flows through it. 

Such a cave is destroyed by means as simple as it is made. Rock may 
fall in from above and block it up, as in the Mingo Cave. Another enlarg- 
ing cave in the vicinity may encroach upon the water supply and cut it off. 
Then the cavern will cease enlarging and will slowly fill with crumbling 
debris. Or a cave may become too large; may hollow out the rock under 
so large an area that the whole top will fall in and fill the cavern. The 
result is a "sink." Some of them are small, covering but a few rods, while 
others are very large, such as are seen in Pocahontas, the " Little Levels " 
and in Greenbrier, the "Big Levels," or the very noted "Sinks of Gandy," 
in Randolph. Occasionally under such a ' ' sink " a small cave is still found. 
It is only an unfilled remnant of the once very large cave. There is a dis- 
tinction between a "sink" and a "sink-hole," although both are formed on 
the same principle. A " sink- hole " is an opening like a well (larger or 
smaller) leading down a considerable distance and usually opening into a 
cave. A ."sink" is a general settling down of the whole surface with no 
cave, or only a small one, beneath. Both "sinks" and "sink-holes" usually 
abound in a region where there are caves. 


Theory and all known facts lead to the conclusion that a cave of enor- 
mous dimensions exists in Randolph County, under or near the course of 
the Elk River, between the Pocahontas County line and the mouth of 
Valley Fork, six miles below. But no one has ever yet found an entrance 
into the cave, and its existence cannot be possitively affirmed. The facts 
which are explained on the theory of a vast cave are these: Elk River, 
except in time of freshet, flows into a crevice at the foot of a mountain, 
or when very low, disappears among the bowlders of its channel, in Poca- 
hontas, near the Randolph line; and six miles below, the water rushes to 
the surface. Its underground course is through limestone, and it must 
flow through galleries of large size. In 1896, near the point where the 
water sinks, a portion of the river bottom dropped down, leaving an open- 
ing about fifteen feet square into which the whole river plunged and 
disappeared. No bottom was visible, and no one attempted to enter or 
examine. The next flood fllied the opening with bowlders. Between the 
points where the river sinks and where it rises to the surface, a distance 
of six miles, there are no streams emptying into its channel on the surface, 


except in freshet; but they all sink, and the most of them pour into "sink- 
holes," and unless this water reaches the subterranean channel of the river, 
its destination is unknown. The area of the region whose streams flow 
into "sink-holes" is from fifteen to twenty square miles; and the supposed 
underground course of Elk River passes beneath the region. The conclu- 
sion is that all those streams that sink reach the waters of Elk somewhere 
under the ground; and those meeting places of the waters, and the gal- 
leries through which they pour must form a series of caverns and chasms 
of great dimensions. Pew attempts have been made to penetrate through 
the "sink-holes" to the caves, but that some practicable opening exists 
somewhere in the region is reasonable. 

On the Kent Crawford farm, against the side of Elk Mountain, is a 
cavern which has been frequently visited, and has been explored, perhaps 
2000 feet, although no measurement of distance has been made. Distance 
' in a cave is deceptive, and is usually less than one-fourth as great as the 
man who does not measure is apt to conclude. The Crawford cave is easy 
of entrance, free from danger, abounds in pleasing rooms and galleries, one 
of which has white walls, and it has been a favorite one with sightseers 
who do not care to endure the hardships or undergo the dangers necessary 
in exploring the abysmal "sink-holes" in the region of Elk River. For 
that reason it is the best known of all the caverns of Randolph. It is some- 
times called the Wymer cave. 


This cavern, tolerbly well explored to the distance of 1000 feet or more, 
lies under Cheat Mountain, about six miles from Beverly on the waters of 
Piles Creek. Like the Crawford cave, the water flows out of it instead of 
in, and it is thus distinguished from a "sink-hole." The ingress is not diffi- 
cult, but careless explorers have become bewildered in the galleries and 
have extricated themselves only after hours of alarm. The explorer of a 
cavern should mark his way with chalk or a soapstone pencil, making on 
the walls and rocks as he enters numerous arrows pointing always toward 
the mouth of the cave. In returning he has only to follow the flight of 


This interesting series of pits, galleries and rooms is a combination of 
a cave and ' 'sinkhole. " Palling Spring Run heads against Mingo Knob and 
Elk Mountain, and after flowing one and a half miles, and receiving numer- 
ous tributaries which make it a stream of considerable size, it approaches 
within a quarter of a mile of Elk River where it plunges into a yawning 
gulf, 200 feet in circumference and forty feet deep, and the water is seen no 
more. It enters a gallery from the bottom of the pit, and is supposed to 
reach the subterranean channel of Elk River; but exploration has not yet 
established this as a fact. No one had ever entered the cavern beyond 200 
feet until 1898, when an examination was made, in the interest of this book, 
by Charles J. and Claude W. Maxwell. The work was done in an effort to 
find a passage into the Elk River Cave, into which this one was supposed 
to lead. The passage was found easy of descent, except in a few places 
where precipices and narrow, muddy galleries were encountered, until a 
depth beyond 1000 feet was reached. The general course of the cavern 
pitches under the mountain and downward at a rate of about 20 feet in 100. 


At places the descent is perpendicular in narrow openings of the limestone. 
Again the passage is horizontal with a rock-roof thirty and probably forty 
feet high, narrowing until it is so low that one must drag his body at full 
length through mud and water; and again enlarging. For the first 1000 
feet large quantities of drift-wood are found, logs from 20 to 40 feet 
long being occasionally seen. Frequently timbers are seen wedged fast in 
cracks of the roofs of rooms, twenty or thirty feet above the floor. They 
were driven into these positions by the terrific force of floods poured into 
the cave from the mountain stream in time of deluge. The picture which 
the imagination calls up, of the fury of the waters surging and whirling 
through and among the vaults, galleries, precipices and gurgling throats 
of the cavern's subterranean reaches, in time of flood, wrapped in black- 
ness so impenetrable that Egypt's darkness was as sunshine, is one which 
can be appreciated only by those who haye penetrated to the nameless 
depths and have seen the ruin and havoc wrought. Rocks that weigh 
thousands of pounds have been dashed and hurled from side to side, from 
depth to depth, until their rounded angles, and their positions, wedged 
high in crevices, show the measureless power that drove them. Logs 
have been pounded and splintered. Large rooms, one in particular, show 
where the subterranean whirlpools did their work. The limestone walls 
are scoured as if a glacier had polished them. 

Beyond the depth of HOO 1 feet little drift is seen. The passages become 
so low that nothing large can enter. What goes there must be crushed. 
The mills of the gods must grind exceedingly small. But the floods go on 
raging and swirling through the chasms to reach the vast and unseen 
caverns which must lie below. Exploration beyond that point is difficult 
and dangerous because of the sinallness of the openings and quantity of 
water. Yet, in time of drought a passage might be found to the Elk River 
cave. No one should venture in, except on a clear day when there is no 
danger of rain. A dashing storm might pour a flood in and the explorer in 
the cave would have no chance of escape. There is no pinnacle nor shelf 
on which he could climb to escape the water. It fills the cave to the re- 
motest crevice. But, an important discovery no doubt awaits the man 
who shall be able to follow the cave to the end. 


Near the source of Mingo Run, a tributary of Tygart's Valley River, 
and situated about three miles fx - om Elk River, is Mingo Cave, a cavern not 
remarkable so much for extent as for its ghostly scenery and the perils 
which endanger the explorer. It is a "sink-hole," and in 1898 was entered 
to a depth of 560 feet, nearly perpendicular. The persons who explored 
Falling Spring Cave also explored this one, with the hope that a passage 
would be found leading from its lowest depth under the mountain (Mingo 
Knob) to the Elk River Cave. That hope was not realized, but much of in- 
terest was encountered during the descent. It had never been entered be- 
fore except to the depth of a few rods. One who will exercise constant care 
may go down more than 500 feet without great danger; but the lack of cau- 
tion may prove fatal at almost any step. The mouth of the cavern is four 
or five feet aci'oss, and for the first 35 feet the descent is perpendicular, and 
the persons going down must climb ropes, or poles set in for ladders. The 
rocks are loose, and there is danger that they will fall upon those who are 
descending. This cave is evidently the partly filled remnant of a larger 


one. It was one which became so large that the roof fell in; and now the 
original limestone walls are seldom seen, and the original floor perhaps 
nowhere remains visible. The whole limestone stratum seems to have been 
hollowed out, and the overlying sandstone has fallen in, and we can now 
form but an inadequate estimate of the size and form of the original cavern. 

After passing the narrow neck, like a chimney, through which the 
descent into the cave is made, the interior enlarges, and after climbing down 
100 feet or more over very rough and slippery rocks, a great cavern opens 
out, forming a room 132 feet wide, 192 feet long, with a ceiling in places 20 
or 30 feet high. The room is gloomy, but not beautiful. Hundreds of tons 
of broken sandstone have fallen from above and lie piled almost to the roof 
in places. On op.e side the original limestone is met, deeply cut by a 
crevice of which no bottom could be seen by tying a lantern to a long rope 
and letting it down full length. The floor of the room pitches rapidly 
down, and the roof bends in the same direction; and the room terminates in 
a wide, but rather low passage leading down into impenetrable darkness. 
Here lies danger. After descending over slippery and sliding rocks through 
a steep passage, about 100 feet, the brink of a precipice is reached athwart 
the way into whose yawning depth no lantern will throw light. A blunder 
or a misstep there is fatal. With ropes 100 feet long and at great peril 
the precipice might be descended, but it is not necessary. Pushing to the 
left, close under the low roof, a way may be found /or descending which is 
reasonably safe, but by no means easy, and another and larger room is 
reached. The precipice is one wall of this room. It is irregular in shape, 
but if its sides galleries and vestibules were filled it would probably seat 
10,000 persons, and its ceiling in one place is about 100 feet high. Like the 
other room it is disfigured and partly filled with broken sandstone. Ob- 
scure, difficult and dangerous crevices and openings lead beyond and below 
this room, the last descent of 90 feet being perpendicular, and through 
throats so small in places that a man can scarcely squeeze his body through 
them. Finally the opening becomes so small that further descent is im- 

The cave was not thoroughly explored. The chasm mentioned in the 
floor of the first large room, to which no bottom could be seen, may lead to 
larger galleries below. With ropes long enough, the descent into it should 
not be difficult; and the most promising field of discovery lies there. The 
party that explored the cave had no ropes long enough to reach down, and 
therefore could not enter. There are many caves in that part of Randolph 
County which have never been explored. Farmers have been hauling logs 
for generations to fill "sink-holes" which may open into large caves below. 


Near the "Brady Gate," at the head of Elkwater, is a ledge of flint, 
from which, no doubt, the Indians obtained the material for their arrow- 
heads. Flint is very scarce in West Virginia, only a few ledges being 
known, the chief one being on the Kanawha River. Indians frequently 
traveled long distances to obtain this material, sometimes carrying it from 
Ohio, as is supposed from the character of the specimens found about old 
Indian town-sites in the valley of the Monongahela and its tributaries. 
Flint is a deposit in crevices of rock and has a resemblance (in form) to 
veins of coal. It is quartz, in charcter; but it splits like slate, and in this 
respect differs from ordinary quartz, which breaks with a ragged fracture. 


The flint ledge on the head of Elkwater was discovered by Claude W. Max- 
well, of Tucker County, while collecting material for this History of Ran- 


Sixteen miles south of Beverly are the Salt Sulphur Springs. When the 
country was first settled, deer, buffalo and elk frequented the place for the 
salt. In 1841 Peter and Currence Conrad began the boring of a well there 
for the purpose of making salt. They went down 572 feet, but the sulphur 
in the water injured the salt. They tried to shut out the sulphur water by 
casing, but the Civil War put a stop to operations. A vein of copper ore 18 
inches thick was passed through in boring the well. In 1872 the property 
was bought by J. N. C. Bell. In 1890 the mineral water began to attract 
attention. In 1895 a stock company was formed for the purpose of devel- 
oping the property, and a town was surveyed called Havana. An hotel has 
been built for the accommodation of visitors. The officers of the company 
are Wirt C. Ward, president; Perry Bosworth, secretary; L. C. Conrad, 


There are traditions in Randolph County, the same as in nearly every 
other county of West Virginia, that Indians had lead mines where they pro- 
cured metal for bullets, and that they frequently resorted to them, usually 
tying their prisoners (the traditions always speak of a prisoner) some dis- 
tance away to prevent them from seeing the mines. There is not a particle 
of truth in any of these traditions. Indians did not mine lead. They bought 
it of white traders . They could not have mined it, for they did not possess 
the means or the knowledge. Lead is very different from coal, which is 
ready for use when taken from the mine. Lead must pass through a pro- 
cess of smelting and refining, and that process was unknown to the Indians, 
and an impossibility with them. All stories of Indian lead mines may be 
dismissed as pure fiction, so far as West Virginia is concerned. About the 
only metal found in a pure state and made use of by Indians was copper, 
and none of that has ever existed in West Virginia, so far as known. 




The present chapter deals with odds and ends of local history, together 
with individual affairs and the social and intellectual growth of the county. 
It presents facts and details which could not properly be included in former 


Randolph County has nearly as large area as the State of Rhode Island, 
nearly one-half the population of the State of Nevada, and is the largest 
county in the State of West Virginia. It is a noticeble fact, therefore, that 
it has remained until very recently without railroad facilities. The build- 
ing of a railroad from Piedmont up the North Branch of the Potomac River 
was discussed from time to time many years before it was accomplished. 
The great resources of the region were known, and the development of 
them was an incentive to construct a road up and over the mountains. All 
during the period from 1861 to 1880 the tide of investment and immigration 
was running so strongly to the far West that it passed by this portion of 
the country, so near the Eastern market and containing such possibilities 
of development, and it was not until 1881 that serious efforts were made to 
reach the coal and timber which were there in so great abundance. 

In 1866 an Act was passed by the Legislature incorporating the Poto- 
mac & Piedmont Coal & Railroad Company, but some years passed before 
any progress was made by the company. About April 20th, 1880, work 
was commenced on the grading of a road from Piedmont up the Potomac, and 
on October 19th, 1881, it was opened to traffic to Elk Garden, a distance of 
eighteen miles. In the meantime, the legislature was asked to enlarge the 
company's franchise, and on the 21st of February, 1881, the charter was 
re-enacted with additional powers and privileges, and the name of the com- 
pany was changed to that of the West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railroad 
Company. Hon. Henry G. Davis, who had been for twelve years in the 
United States Senate from West Virginia, was the moving spirit in the 
enterprise. He had declined being a candidate for re-election in order to 
give his whole time and attention to the subject. He interested a number 
of his former collegues in the Senate in the undertaking, and many of the 
stations along the road are named in their honor. The West Virginia 
Central & Pittsburg Railway Company was organized under the new 
charter, June 25th, 1881, with H. G. Davis, President. Among the direc- 
tors were James G. Blaine, Augustus Schell, J. N. Camden, William Keyser 
and S. B. Elkins. Over 37,000 acres of valuable coal, iron and timber 
lands were acquired by the company; among them being the field contain- 


iug the now celebrated Elk Garden mines, from which over 5,000,000 tons 
of the highest grade of bituminous coal have since been taken. The first 
object of the promoters of the road was to reach this property, which was 
only thirteen miles from Piedmont, and by October 19th, 1881, as stated, 
the road was constructed to that place, the mines were opened, and trains 

Leaving Elk Garden, the road was continued up the Potomac, crossing 
the river into Maryland, at a point twenty-seven miles from Piedmont, and 
returning again eight miles beyond. In August, 1883, the road was opened 
to a point thirty-two miles from Piedmont, and on the 1st of November, 
1884, track-laying was completed to where the towns of Thomas and Davis 
now stand, the latter at a junction of the Blackwater and Beaver Rivers, 
fifty-seven and one-half miles from Piedmont, and seven miles from Thomas. 
The road had now reached the summit of the Alleghany Mountains. It had 
traversed many miles of coal lands, and was in the heart of the forest 
containing the largest and finest of hardwood timber. Here mines 
were located, coke ovens built, saw-mills erected. Since then towns have 
rapidly occupied the places which, until the coming of the railroad, were 
visited only by occasional sportsmen. The beautiful valleys, the rich 
grazing, agricultural and timber lands of the western slope of the mountains, 
together with a desire to connect to the north and west with the lines of 
railroad communication there, offered inducements to the company to push 
on beyond. Starting from Thomas, and going down the waters which flow 
into the Cheat, on grades sustained high on the mountain sides, the road 
was continued fourteen miles to Parsons, which it reached early in 1889, 
and soon after entered Randolph County. On the 18th of August, 1889, 
trains began running regularly to Elkins, which had formerly been known 
as Leadsville. The valley here through which the Tygart's Valley River 
runs, is beautifully situated, containing perhaps a thousand acres of com- 
paratively level land, with gentle grades to the river, and encompassed by 
mountains, rising one above another in the distance, until four or five 
ranges complete the framing of the picture. It was an ideal place tor a 
settlement, and the road halted there. Streets and avenues were laid out, 
ample grounds being retained for the use of the railroad, and the town of 
Elkins was established, named for Hon. S. B. Elkins, the Vice President of 
the company. Engine houses and shops were built, and all the facilities 
acquired necessary for terminal purposes. The officers of the company at 
the time named, 1890, were as follows: H. G. Davis, President; S. B. 
Elkins, Vice President; E. W. S. Moore, Secretary and Treasurer. The 
directors were: H. G. Davis, West Virginia; S. B. Elkins, West Virginia; 
T. B. Davis, West Virginia; Wm. W. Taylor, Maryland; John A. Hamble- 
ton, Maryland; Wm. H. Gorman, Maryland; R. C. Kerens, Missouri. 

The president and vice president both selected Elkins as their future 
permanent places of residence, and in a short time thereafter erected and 
occupied handsome homes there. One of the directors, Mr. Kerens, also 
built a fine residence there, which he and his family occupy during the 
summer months. 

On May 1st, 1891, the company had completed and had trains run- 
ning on extensions from Elkins to Beverly, seven miles, and from 
Elkins to Belington, Barbour County, seventeen and a half miles. At 
the latter place connection is made with the Grafton & Greenbrier branch 
of the B. &. O. Road, which follows Tygart's Valley River to Grafton, and 


there connects east and west with, the main line of the B. & O. Railroad. 
The West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway, therefore, runs from the 
county line of Barbour in a southerly direction, in the County of Randolph, 
to Beverly, and from Elkins to the county line of Tucker, and affords di- 
rect connection to the East via Cumberland, and the West by way of Graf ton 
to the people of Randolph County. Until this road was built many of the 
citizens of the county were living sixty miles or. more from a railroad, and 
it was not unusual for them to drive their cattle a hundred aides to market. 
Their mail deliveries were infrequent, and communications with the larger 
cities and more densely populated portions of the country were few and ir- 
regular. The railroad has wrought a wonderful change in this respect. 
Valleys and mountains have been brought into closer association; values 
have become better understood; mai'kets opened for the quick reception of 
products of the forest and the field, and the wants of the farmer and the 
mountaineer have been supplied from a nearer, broader and cheaper field 
of competition. 

By the time, or before, this book is in the hands of the reader, the road 
will have been extended to Huttonsville, eleven miles south of Beverly. 
The length of the road will then be forty-two miles within Randolph 
County. It is estimated that the introduction of this railroad has up to the 
present time, added 5000 people to the permanent population of the county. 


The first newspaper in Randolph, The Enterprise, was founded 1874 by 
George P. Sargeant, who sold it to T. Irvine Wells, who sold it to V. B. 
Trimble and Bernard L. Butcher. They sold the paper to Drs. John and 
A. S. Bosworth. They sold it to John Hutton, and he sold it to E. D. Tal- 
bott and Dr. John Bosworth. Mr. Talbott sold his interest to Floyd Trip- 
lett, and Triplett sold it to Dr. A. S. Bosworth. The Bosworth brothers 
conducted in eight years and sold it to a stock company which still owns it. 
After the company came into ownership, the editors were George W. Lewis 
and Stark A. Rowan until January, 1894, when J. Ed Kildow became editor 
and still holds the position. 


The second paper in Randolph, TJie Reveille, was -founded by Drs. John 
and A. S. Bosworth about ten years after the founding of the Enterprise. 
They conducted it six months and merged it into che Enterprise, which they 
had bought. They sold the plant to Buckey Canfield, who moved it to 
Pocahontas and started the first paper in that county. 


In 1892 the Inter-Mountain, Republican in politics, was founded in Elk- 
ins under the management of a company. The editorship of the paper was 
assumed by Prot. N. G. Keim, who remained in charge until 1894. when 
Marshall S. Cornwell, of Hampshire County, became editor. In 1896 he re- 
signed on account of failing health, and the editorial mantle fell upon Will- 
iam S. Ryan, who managed the paper for some months and was succeeded 
by Charles E. Beans, in November, 1896. He remained its editor till in 
August, 1898, when he was succeeded by Herman G. Johnson. The office 


and nearly all the outfit of the paper were burned in March, 1897, but the 
publication was not discontinued, although for a short time it was printed 
under difficulties. 


This Democratic newspaper printed at Elkins, began its existence Sep- 
tember 13, 1889, under the ownership and management of James A. Bent 
and Floyd Triplett. It was published in the third building erected in the 
town of Elkins, sixteen by twenty-four feet, one story high and located on 
an alley. It was not known at that time that it was on an alley, for the 
world expanded in unbroken meadows on all sides; but the subsequent 
building of the town developed the fact that it was located on an alley. 
That, however, did not stunt the newspaper's growth, and today it is 
located in the finest brick block of the town. Before the first issue was 
published the paper had 500 subscribers. The circulation has grown stead- 
ily until it now is 1280. In January, 1891, Mr. Triplett, who had been 
elected County Clerk of Randolph, retired temporarily from the newspaper 
business, and the paper was then taken charge of by Zan F. Collett and 
John J. Ferguson. Later Mr. Triplett again entered the journalistic field, 
and he and Mr. Collett conducted the paper until May, 1898, when Mr. Col- 
lett, who had been elected captain of volunteers and had gone to the Span- 
ish War, retired from the business and Mr. Triplett assumed sole manage- 
ment. One cause of the paper's steady growth and constant success has 
been the industrial letters written for it by Claude Phillips of Womelsdorff. 
He has contributed constantly to its columns for years, and many of the 
letters have been copied by industrial papers in other parts of the country. 


The original name of Beverly was Edmondton, in honor, as is supposed, 
of Edmond Randolph, after whom the county was named. On December 
16, 1790, the Virginia Legislature changed the name to Beverly, in honor 
of Beverly Randolph. The town occupied 20 acres, laid out on the land of 
James Westfall, in lots of one-half acre each. They were originally sold at 
five pounds ($16. 66f) each, and the purchaser bound himself to build a house 
sixteen feet square, with stone or brick chimney, on the lot within five 
years from the date of purchase. If he failed to do so, the lot was to be sold 
by the town trustees and the pi'oceeds were to "go to the inhabitants." The 
purchaser was also bound to pay a perpetual annual rent to James West- 
fall, or his heirs, 36 cents. But there is no record that this rent was ever 
paid. The trustees of the town in 1790 were John Wilson, Jacob Westfall, 
Sylvester Ward, Thomas Phillips, Hezekiah Rosecrantz, William Wainsley, 
Valentine Stalnaker. On January 17, 1848, the Virginia Legislature granted 
a new charter to the "Borough of Beverly," and on February 10, 1871, the 
West Virginia Legislature chartered the " Town of Beverly," and in 1882 
the Legislature amended the charter to make it conform to the charters of 
all other towns of the State of less than 1000 inhabitants. 


The town of Huttonsville, named from the Hutton family, is noted from 
the fact that it was the only point west of the Alleghanies at which Gov- 
ernor Letcher's proclamation to the people of West Virginia was published 
in 1861. The town is at present the terminus of the W. Va. C. & P. R. R. 
It is situated in the finest part of Tygart's Valley. 



The town of Womelsdorff, named from O. C. Womelsdorff, elected its 
first officers June 10, 1891; J. D. Marstiller, mayor, and also postmaster 
from that time till December 1, 1897, when he was succeeded by George 
Scott. On May 6, 1894, the first train pulled out of Womelsdorff, consisting 
of eight cars of coal, bound for Elkins, which place it reached after collid- 
ing with a passenger train. Oil November 3, 1894, a strike of 500 Italians 
occurred, stopping all public work till Christmas. Outside of the Railroad 
Company's store, the first was opened by G. E. Talbott. One of the first 
business men was Stephen Joyce. The first school was taught in 1894, by 
Miss Alice Durkin; the first school house was built in 1897, and the first 
school in the new building was taught by C. W. Walden, with Miss Camp- 
bell as assistant. The oldest house in the town was built by Milton Curtis, 
and is now occupied by O. C. Womelsdorff, the founder of the town.- The 
second oldest house was built by Thomas Williams. The first house built 
after the town was laid out into streets and blocks was built by James Matz; 
it is now occupied by ' ' Daddy " Holtzman, the oldest man in the town. Mrs. 
Schwartz kept the first boarding house, and Pat Burke the first saloon. 
The first fire occurred September 8. 1898, burning George Shipman's build- 
ing. Church and Sunday School were held in Talbott's Hall till June, 1898, 
after which they were held in the school house. The town now (1898) con- 
tains 67 houses, 156 voters and about 500 people. The Himmelrich saw- 
mill and the mines give employment to all. There are now two hotels, an 
opera house, one boarding house and three saloons. 


In the year 1889 the town of Elkins was begun by the laying off of lots. 
Building commenced at once, and in a short time it was the largest village 
in the county. It was named from Hon. Stephen B. Elkins, who built on 
a neighboring hill the finest residence in the State. Hon. H. G. Davis and 
Hon. R. C. Kerens also erected palatial residences on adjacent eminences. 
The town is situated at the intersection of the Leading Creek Valley and 
Tygart's Valley, and the surroundings are picturesque, and the view de- 
lightful. Rich Mountain sweeps twenty miles along the western side of the 
valley, and its rounded knobs and long, sloping spurs, wooded from base 
to summit, form a picture that is restful and pleasing. The growth of the 
town has been steady. The railroad company has built machine shops and 
a car factory, and thus the village has a constant source of wealth, added 
to and supplemented by the rich agricultural country on all sides. The 
proximity of the Roaring Creek coal fields, with their almost exhaustless 
wealth, the development of which has only commenced, makes Elkins a 
natural center for supplies and a point for wholesale trade. The town has 
a population of 3000; fine schools, excellent churches of all the leading 
denominations; progressive and successful business men, and all the ele- 
ments on which to found a prediction of a great future. 


This village, located on the Middle Pork, was founded in 1880 by Claude 
Goff, Alfred Hutton, Elihu Hutton, Charles E. Lutz and others. Many of 
the settlers were Swiss, who came under the leadership of Mr. Lutz, among 
them being Jacob Rothenbuhler, Jacob Pfeister, John Rush, A. Brenwalt 
and many others. Some remained but a short time, others made their homes 


there, in a region surrounded by fine timber, and with an excellent soil. 
The lumber business was profitable, and a little railroad, only one and a 
half miles long, was built there, called the "Pleasant Valley Railroad." 
Other railroads, one from Alexander, the other from Womelsdorff, have 
surveys toward West Huttonsville. Among the early settlers in that vicin- 
ity were John Pincham, of Loudoun County, Va. ; Michael Shannon an,d 
Squire B. Kittle. 


Pew counties of the South have complete records of their Confederate 
soldiers; but many of them long ago undertook to compile such lists. Ran- 
dolph began late, and some names may be lost forever. What follows is 
believed to be correct so far as it goes. 


James Anthony, Joseph H. Anthony, killed at Port Steadman; Jack 
Apperson, Jefferson Arbogast, killed at the "Bloody Angle;" f Moses Ben- 
nett, John W. Bosworth (Lieut.), S. N. Bosworth (Sergeant), Joseph H 
Chenoweth (Major), killed at Port Republic; Z. T. Currence, Eli Currence, 
Emmet Crawford, Burns Crawford, died of wounds, 1863; Jacob Currence 
(Capt.) resigned 1861. N. S. Channel, Cyrus Crouch, killed at Fredericks- 
burg; Milton Crouch, killed at Cold Harbor; Garland Cox, died in prison; 
Peter Couger, Henson Douglass, killed at the "Bloody Angle;" William Daft; 
Edward Daft; Adam E. Polks, (Corporal); John Polks, killed at the Wilder- 
ness; George Gainor, Eugene Hutton, killed at Bunker Hill, Va. ; George 
E. Hogan, Levi Hebener, Adam Hebener, killed at Spotsylvania; Andrew 
Hebener, scout for Lee, killed at Elkwater; J. P. Harding (Captain, after- 
wards Major of cavalry) Marion Harding, killed at Elkwater, Oct., 1862; 
George Harding, died in camp; Thomas Heron, Edward Kittle, killed at the 
"Bloody Angle;" Marshall Kittle, killed in Beverly at the Hill raid, 1864; 
Asa Kelly, died of wounds at McDowell, Charles Kelly, John Logan, G. W. 
Louk, John Louk, Claud Louk, Dudley Long (3d Lieut), killed at Peters- 
burg; J. H. Long (Corporal), killed at Port Republic; Thomas Long, died 
in hospital;! O. H. P. Lewis, (Lieut), § Walter Lewis, died in hospital; 
Thomas Lewis, killed at Port Steadman; Stephen D. Lewis, John Lewis, 
Jr. killed at Cedar Mountain; John Lewis, Sr. ;|| William Lemmon, died of 
wounds at McDowell; Jacob Lemmon, died in hospital; James W. Lemmon, 
John D. Moore, died in hospital, Andrew C. Mace, Elisha McCloud, John 
B. Pritt, Homan Pritt, Newton Potts, B. P. Potts, John Quick, died from 
wounds; Claud Raider, George W. Rowan (Corporal), Jacob Riggleman. 
Washington Riggleman, Joshua Ramsay, died of wounds; Thomas Ramsay, 
Branch Robinson, George Salisbury (Lieut.), Hiram Smith, Chesley Sim- 
mons, David Simmons, Joseph Simmons, Franklin Stalnaker, died in hospi- 

*This list was compiled from records and gathered from the recollections of the living 
by G. W. Printz, of Beverly, W. Va. 

tThis place was at Spotsylvania Court-House. In the battle of May 12, 1864, General 
Hancock broke General Lee's line by a charge. The Confederates under General Gordon, 
retook the works after one of the most desperate battles of the war. The trenches 
where the hardest righting occurred were called the "Bloody Angle." 

JThe last three named were brothers. 

iiThis man was one of the prisoners placed under tire of his comrades at Charleston,' 
S. C, in reply to a threat made by the Confederates that they would expose Federal pris- 
oners to the Federal lire unless the Union batteries ceased firing into the city. 

IIThis man was the father, and the rive proceeding were his sons. 


tal; Absalom Shiflett, D. H. Summers, John C. Swecker, John M. Swecker, 
Thomas Shelton, David Shelton, Joseph Stipes, killed at the "Bloody 
Angle;" William Stipes, Josiah Vandeventer, Adam Vandeventer, Wil- 
liam H. Wilson (Lieut), David O. Wilson, James R. Wilson, James D. Wilson 
(Coporal), James W. Wilson, W. H. Wamsley, Enoch Wamsley, L. D. West- 
fall, John M. Wood, Joseph Wood, Randolph Wise, lost arm at Ghantilly. 


L.D.Adams, John Bennett, Jacob Chenoweth. JudsonGoddin(Sergeant), 
Charles Myers, L. G. Potts, William Powers, George Powers, Thomas, 
Powers, killed; Adam C. Stalnaker, Eli Taylor, Jetson Taylor, Haman 
Taylor (Capt.), killed at Winchester, 1864; Elam Taylor (Lieut.), H. H. 
Taylor, P. M. Taylor, Perry Taylor, J. W. Triplett, Oliver Triplett, Prank 
Triplett, killed on Gaudy Creek; James Duncan Wilson, George Ward, 
Perry Wees, Duncan Wees, Haymond Wees, Lafayette Ward. 


J. N. C. Bell, William H. Coberly, A. C. Crouch, John H. Dewitt, 
Claude Goff, Elihu Hutton (Colonel), John Heron, Eugenus Isner, Mor- 
gan Kittle, John Killingsworth, M. P. H. Potts, Jacob Salisbury, killed at 
Winchester, Sheldon Salisbury, Adam Stalnaker, Harrison Westfall, Fred 


John Baker, J. H. Currence, Adam C. Currence, Archibald Earle, Si- 
mon Fowler, Nathan Fowler, Ira Kittle, John Kinney, Thomas G. Lindsay, 
James A. Logan, Thomas Logan, David H. Lilly, John Manly, James Mor- 
rison, killed at Droop Mountain; Adam Propst, jr; Jesse W. Simmons, 
Jonas Simmons, Nimrod Shiflett,_J. S. Wamsley (Capt.), Randolph Wams- 
ley, Samuel B. Wamsley, Adam H. Wamsley, George F. Wamsley, George 
Ware, John Ware, Allen Ware, Elihu B. Ward, Jacob G. Ward (Lieut.), R. 
S. Ward, L. M. Ward, Jacob Wilmoth, David J. Wilmoth. 


Andrew Chenoweth, Adam C. Caplinger, C. L. C.aplinger, John Cap- 
linger, Parkinson C. Collett (Lieut.), Andrew J. Collett (Sergeant), Hoy 
Clark, James Daniels (bugler), Harper Daniels, Calvin C. Clark, John C. 
Clark, C. B. Clark, John Marstiller, died at Bridgewater; David B. Mar- 
stiller, Blackman Rummell, died in prison; Jacob Wees, Andrew C. Wees. 


A. Canfield, S. B. Kittle*, William Keasey, Cyrus Myers, Randolph 
Phillips, Moses Philips, George Phillips. 


Andrew C. Goddin (Lieut). 


Jacob Heator, Dock Heator, Herbert Murphy, Jacob Mathews (Capt), 
Charles Mathews, James Shannon, Michael Shannon, Martin Shannon, 
Curtis Taylor, W. T. Ware, Sturms Gainer, Andrew J. Murphy. 


William Nelson, killed on Dry Fork; Thomas Wood. 

*There were five Kittle brothers in the service, George, Marshall, Ira, Edward and 
S. B. 



No list has ever been compiled of the Union soldiers from Randolph 
County. Many Federal soldiers now living in the county did not live here 
when they joined the army. Those well posted on the subject estimate 
that the number who went from Randolph to the Union army was from 
seventy -five to one hundred. 


When war against Spain was declared in April, 1898, no county in West 
Virginia responded more promptly to the call for volunteers than Ran- 
dolph. This always has been a county noted for its excellent fighting ma- 
terial. It commenced with the Revolution, with its full quota; did the same 
in the War of 1812; and in the Mexican War it was ready with its volun- 
teers, which were never needed; and in the Civil War its men went by the 
hundred, to the North or to the South. The mountains of West Virginia 
sent soldiers surpassed by none, and Randolph's were equal to the best in 
the State, whether they rode under the Stars and Stripes with Averell's cav- 
alry, or marched under the Virginia colors with Imboden, Early or Jack- 
son. In the Spanish War the same spirit was seen, and many more offered 
their services than were needed. Following is a list of those who went, 
mostly in Company E, First W. Va. Vol. Infantry, but a few in other com- 
panies: Zan F. Collett, Captain; James Hanley, jr., First Sergeant; John 
J. Nallen, Second Sergeant; H. B. O'Brien, Third Sergeant; C. D. Poling, 
W. C. Kennedy, T. J. Collett, T. J. Goddin, David F. Foy and J. E. Wees, 
Corporals; Frank A. Rowan, C. L. Weymouth and H. Platz. Musicians in 
the Regimental Band; G. W. Buckey, Wagoner; Privates, Bruce Phares, 
James R. Collier, C. L. Lewis, Cyrus J. Warner, John S. Garber, Leslie 
Harding, William Russell, C. Llovd, J. Llovd, K. Bennett, W. Welsch. S. 
Knox. Wm. W. Steffey, F. W. Orris, T. J. Smith, H. Crawford Scott, Brax- 
ton O. Meeks, Stewart Anthony, Wamsley. Davis Elkins was on 

Gen. Copinger's staff. In addition to these, Randolph had three soldiers 
in the regular army at the battle of Santiago, Robert L. Hamilton, First 
Lieutenant; Walter Phillips, Hospital Steward, and Mr. Wolf,' of the 
Twenty-second Infantry. 


All the land between the Alleghany Mountains and the Ohio River, in 
West Virginia, except a few grants by the King of England to companies 
or individuals, once belonged to the State of Virginia; and all land titles in 
that region are traced back, through all possessors, to the time when the 
land belonged to the State. There were several methods by which individ- 
uals could obtain titles to land from the State. One way was to settle on 
the land, raise a crop of corn, and receive a deed for 400 acres; another way 
was to pre-empt 1000 acres, paying a small sum for it; a third way was to 
buy it from the State in any desired quantity. It appears, from the read- 
ing of Hening's ." Statutes at Large " (vol. 10, p. 35) that lands in the north- 
western part of Virginia were not sold by the State prior to May 3, 1779. 
On that date a law was passed providing for giving deeds to persons who 
had claims not later than January 1, 1778. It is well known that many well- 
improved farms were in Randolph prior to that time. Nearly all the good 
land in Tygart's Valley had been occupied as early as 1774. When the time 
came for Virginia to give deeds to her lands, she respected the claims of the 
first settlers. In fact, the State taxed the settlers on these lands long be- 


fore patents were issued. It is stated elsewhere in this book that in 1763 
the King of England forbade settlers to occupy lands in West Virginia be- 
tween the Ohio River and the Alleghany Mountains, and the order had not 
been revoked when the Revolution began ; consequently deeds to lands could 
not be given. During the first years of the Revolution, although England's 
authority over the land was not recognized, yet there was so much confu- 
sion and excitement that Virginia took no steps to sell the land until 1779. 
This explains why land titles in this part of the State cannot be traced be- 
yond that year. Up to that time the people had occupied their lands and 
had paid taxes, but had no deeds. 

Prom 1779 until 1863 Virginia deeded waste lands, between the Alle- 
ghanies and the Ohio, to settlers and purchasers, and West Virginia has 
done so since the formation of the State in 1863. The territory now in Ran- 
dolph was a part of Augusta County up to 1776, and Virginia gave no deeds 
in the limits. Prom 1776 to 178-1 Randolph was a part of Monongalia, and 
in 1782 lands now in Randolph began to be deeded. Prom 1782 to 1784, 
both inclusive, about 450 patents were issued for lands now in Randolph, 
but during that time they were in Monongalia. Prom 1784 to 1787 Ran- 
dolph's territory was in Harrison County, and in that time about 250 patents 
were issued by the State. Thus, up to the formation of Randolph, there 
had been issued within its limits not above 400 deeds by the State. Prom 
1787 to 1863' the State of Virginia issued 2258 deeds- in Randolph County; 
and from 1863 to 1884 West Virginia issued 39. By this process all, or 
nearly all, of the lands have passed from the ownership of the State to the 
ownership of individuals. In early years speculators patented large tracts, 
from 10,000 to 200,000 acres — sometimes overlapping scores of farms — but 
the speculators could not hold the land already occupied. In most cases 
those large tracts were sold for taxes, or in some other way were cut up 
and went to the people. 

In 1781, and in later years, commissioners were appointed by the State 
to settle conflicting claims and give patents to lands. The law of 1779 di 
not apply to lands north of the Ohio River which at that time were in Vir- 
ginia. That was not put on the market until later. 


On December 9, 1795, the Virginia Legislature passed an act for the 
improvement of Tygart's Valley River from the falls above Fairmont to the 
narrows below Elkins, to render it possible for fish to ascend. A commit- 
tee for securing and collecting subscriptions for prosecuting the work con- 
sisted of Robert Maxwell, Abraham Kittle, John Pancake, Abraham Spring- 
stone, Jacob Stalnaker, Benjamin Hornbeck, Simon Reeder, Hezekiah 
Rosencrantz and Jonas Friend. There is no evidence that anything was 
ever done by the committee; certain it is that few improvements, if any, in 
the river were made. 


According to John M. Woods, who is well informed on the early events 
of the upper end of the county, the first saw-mill in Mingo was built by 
Edward Woods and John Smiley at the Laurel Thicket, on H. C. Tolly's 
place, near Valley Head, in 1822. The wagon which hauled the irons 
for the mill was the first that crossed the mountain to Mingo. It was 
driven by Augustus Woods, who cut the road as he came. He drove two 
horses from Jackson's River. The first grist mill on the upper fifteen 
miles of the river was built by Peter Conrad, about 1820 or 1822, where 



Harmon Conrad now lives. According to Mr. Woods the four original 
settlers of Mingo were William Mace, where Captain J. W. Marshall now 
lives; Peter Harper, on Ralston Run; Henry Ritter, on Trough Spring 
Farm, and Ferdinand Stalnaker, above Mingo Church. 


Surprise has often been expressed that early settlers with the whole 
country before them from which to choose, selected land by no means the 
best. This is explained by the fact that many of the pioneers were more 
hunters than farmers. They lived on the best hunting grounds. It is 
related that the best hunting ground in Randolph was not along the broad 
bottom lands, but rather near the head of the river and on tributary streams. 
Nearly the only money in circulation was derived from hunting. The skins 
were carried to eastern markets and sold. As late as 1841, three men in 
the upper part of the county entered into a partnership to hunt, to raise 
money to pay for their land. They were Mace, Harper and Stalnaker. 
They killed in one season, 169 deer and 49 bea.r, carried the meat to Clover 
Lick and sold it at three cents a pound. 


Samuel Conrad, who lives at Valley Head has what appears to be a 
genuine Indian scaiping-knife and tomahawk, which he plowed up on his 
farm in the immediate vicinity of a well-known Indian trail. They are badly 
eaten by rust. Several fights with the Indians occurred in that neighbor- 
hood, and it is not improbable that a wounded Indian died where the knife 
and tomahawk were found. All iron implements in the hands of Indians 
were bought or stolen by them from white people. Their own manufac- 
tures consisted of stone, bone, shell, horn and wood. The upper part of 
Tygart's Valley abounds with Indian relies of many kinds, some belonging 
to a period prior to their intercourse with Europeans and some after. 


In a former chapter of this book an account is given of General Lee's 
attack on Cheat Mountain and Elkwater in September, 1861. What is there 
said is mostly taken from reports of Federal and Confederate officers, and 
from White's Life of Lee. A few additional facts have been obtained. When 
Lee moved down on the Marlinton pike he sent a scouting party down the 
Dry Branch of Elk and up Valley Fork to the head of Elkwater. These 
encountered the Federal 
outposts near the ' ' Brady 
Gate," and in the skirmish 
several men were killed or 
wounded. In moving from 
near the mouth of Stewart's 
Run toward Cheat Moun- 
tain the Confederates fol- 
lowed an old Indian trail. 
The Federal paymaster, 
Lock, with his wagon con- 
taining a million dollars, 
barely escaped capture at 
Cheat Pass. It took the 
wrong road, and the pay- 

Map Showing Indian Trails Across Cbeat MountaiQ.--See 
also page 179. 

master was two or three days hunting for it, while it was blundering around 


in the mountains, surrounded by squads of Confederates, who were un- 
aware that such a rich prize was in their vicinity. * After Lee had advanced 
within two miles of Elkwater, and there had been skirmishing for some- 
time, he called a council of- war at the Adam See house, at which several 
officers were present, including General Loring. This officer said he could 
capture the Federal position with the loss of sixty men. Lee answered 
that the capture of the place was not worth sixty men. f General Lee ex- 
plained that the retention of the country would be difficult, if captured, and 
that his force was being threatened from the Kanawha Valley. When they 
fell back they camped the first night at Mingo. In their advance they had 
encountered Federals near Harmon Conrad's, and ascertaining that other 
Federals were further up the valley and liable to attack in the rear, they 
began to entrench. Small earthworks are still seen there. ■ It was a false 


Among the jiapers of David Blackman, at the time of his death, was 
found a circular dated Clarksburg, July 5, 1845, of which the following is a 

To the Public: The funeral ceremonies in honor of Major General Andrew Jack- 
son, ex-President of the United States, will be celebrated at Clarksburg, Va., on Satur- 
day the ,12th of July inst., by a procession and sermon. The committee would respect- 
fully and cordially invite their fellow-citizens and the surrounding counties to partici- 
pate with them on this interesting and solemn occasion, in payingthe last sad tribute 
to the departed patriot, hero and statesman. 

G. A. D. Clark, A. F. Barnes, Ben.j. Bassell, jr., Bexj. Dolbeare, C. W. Smith, 
Jonisr Dilworth, G. A. Davissok, Committee. 


In the summer of 1863 when General W. L. "Jackson attacked Beverly, 
a party of road makers, citizens of Randolph and Barbour, were taken 
prisoner and sent to Richmond. They were soon released and they came 
home. But before their return the Federals arrested thirteen citizens of 
Randolph and held them as hostages and sent them to Fort Delaware, near 
Philadelphia. The hostages were Lennox Camden, William Salsbury and 
his son, Pugh Chenoweth, Levi D. Ward, Allen Isner, Philip Isner, William 
Clemm, Smith Crouch, Thomas Crouch, John Caplinger, John Leary and 
Charles Russell. All but the last four died from drinking the vile water 
of Delaware Bay. Frank Phares went to Fort Delaware and secured the 
'release of the survivors. 


It was in April, 1879, that the main body of the Alpina Colony wended 
its weary way across the then almost impassable Shaver's Mountain. The 
warm April sun, glimmering amid the myriad branches of trees whose foli- 
age was just awakening from its winter's slumber, lending new enchant- 
ment to the great expanse of forest, so welcome to the European's eye, 
lightened somewhat the anxious hearts of the courageous fathers and 
mothers seeking to found new homes in a strange land amid a strange 

* Eli H. Crouch, of Elkwater, is authority for this statement. 
tCaptain J. W. Marshall, of Mingo, who was with Lee as a guide, is authority for 
this statement. 

JThis account of the Swiss settlement at Alpina is from the pen of Prof. John G. 
Knutti, of the Fairmont Normal School. 


people, in order to give their growing families an opportunity for that ex- 
pansion and improvement impossible in the crowded countries of the East. 
Weary, indeed, were they from nearly a month's travel, full of hardships, 
dangers and anxieties. The jostling of cars, the tossing of the ship by wave 
and wind, and resultant seasickness, and finally, and not least, the tumbling 
and pitching of the heavy road wagon over the untried roads were enough 
to discourage the hearts of the most hopeful. Yet, as they gazed from the 
summit of this last great barrier that separated them from their goal, down 
over the vast expanse of forest before them, they felt that now they were 
at last to enter into that land of promise where milk and honey flowed in 
lavish abundance. 

At last the place that was to be the temporary rendezvous of the ' ' Im- 
migrants " was reached and many a heart sickened at sight of the rude log 
shanties enclosing a quadrangular court, built for their reception. The 
larger rooms were about twelve by twelve feet, and here large families were 
supposed to live, eat and sleep. But their hearts were by this time pre- 
pared for the worst, and they crowded into the little cabins as best they 
could, the smaller families often inviting some of the children of the larger 
ones to sleep in their cabins. In this way they found at least a place to lay 
their heads. Here then, in a place not exceeding one hundred feet square, 
were congregated not less than a score of families, together with many 
single adventurers. But bad as was this state of affairs, it was soon plainly 
evident to the newcomers that lack of sufficient ' ' standing room " was by 
no means the greatest hardship to encounter, for now many were already 
drawing heavily upon their purses, lightened by the large expenditures in- 
cident to so long a journey. The problem of living — of working out a liv- 
ing — was now facing them and demanding immediate solution, and now 
dawned upon those whose means were scant the utter helplessness of their 
condition. Strangers in a strange land, unable to speak the language of 
the natives, without visible means of support (there being no demand for 
work of any kind), they were indeed in a pitiable condition. There was no 
cleared land for' the raising of crops. The crops themselves were new to 
the foreigners, and they knew not when to plant, how to care for and when 
to harvest them; and who could tell them? for the would-be agents were as 
unacquainted with these facts as were themselves. The few that did have 
the good fortune to secure a cleared spot large enough to warrant tilling 
knew so little about raising corn that the general modus operandi was about 
as follows: A large sod was pried up with the hoe, corn (often to the quan- 
tity of a handful) dropped under it and the sod carefully placed back. Its 
subsequent care partook largely of this general excellency of procedure, 
and the resultant crop was, of course, something astonishing! With pota- 
toes they fared better, for they knew a little about their cultivation. 

The whole outlook, however, was so discouraging that: at the approach 
of winter many became disheartened, shook the dust off their feet, pro- 
nounced a last benediction upon the agents who had so artfully decoyed 
them into this wilderness of woe, and departed for regions unknown, con- 
tent, after this brief experience, to desist from the pursuit of the goddess 
of Fame, and to implore the more humble goddess of Food. 

But nothing daunted, that portion of the brave little band of settlers 
that have become the founders of this colony bought up the land that could 
be obtained and set about to clear places large enough for the erection of 
houses. A thrilling experience this! They who had been taught from their 


youth up to practice the strictest economy in regard to wood were now ac- 
tually to cut down the largest forest trees and burn them to ashes! Ah, 
none but a European can know the significance of this fact. It proyed too 
much for many of the economic foresters, and instead of rolling the logs in 
heaps, as they afterward, found necessary to do, they sawed them with great 
care into lengths suitable for lumber, in the vain hope of placing this so 
valuable product — spruce pine — upon the market, and of thus early realiz- 
ing a small fortune from their wild investments! Poor, deluded people! 
Nearly twenty years have passed over their heads since then, and many 
sleep beneath the green sod made by so much pain and labor to take the 
place of the sturdy hemlock, and still those everlasting hemlock stumps 
resist alike the plowman's share and all the ordinary agents of decom- 

The work of clearing was a very tedious one indeed, and had -to be 
learned by them as any wholly new work would have to be learned by any 
workman: But they worked on. Now winter was at hand, and since they 
had not yet completed their houses they prepared to meet the grim foe as 
best they could in their shanties. The large cracks were daubed with mud; 
and by huddling close together, as they necessarily did around the cooking 
stove, they managed to remain alive, but oft times waking in the morning 
they found their beds covered to a depth of one or two inches with snow. 
Pood was none too plentiful and commanded a high price; for it will be re- 
membered that Webster was then the nearest railroad point, and that wag- 
oning over those scarcely traceable mountain paths was by no means a par- 
adisial occupation, marked by lively competition. But the winter passed 
and with the coming of spring the hopes and aspirations of the colonists 
were roused from their dormancy, and with renewed zeal they entered upon 
their humble tasks. Amid their many cares it is to be remarked that they 
did not entirely forget education and religion, for their children were sent 
to school the first winter, though the school house was one and a half miles 
distant; and at the end of the first year they had made fair headway toward 
the erection of a church — the one that now crowns the beautiful eminence 
overlooking the village. But how sadly were their numbers reduced! 
Prom a colony of a hundred persons or more only a half dozen families re- 
main, who, by the severest wrestling with forest and brier, have managed 
to eke out an existence and remain to tell the tale. 


Without doubt Randolph County can justly claim that the last elk 
in West Virginia was killed within its borders, although probably the exact 
spot is now in the territory of Tucker County. The assertion, so long per- 
mitted to go undisputed, that the last elk met its death in the Kanawha 
Valley above Charleston, in 1815,* is far from correct. Years after that elk 
was killed, the wife of Thomas B. Summerfield shot one at a deer lick near 
the Sinks of Gandy. The exact date of this cannot be ascertained, but it 
was probably as late as 1830. However, that was not the last one, by 
several. About 1835, Abraham Mullenix killed an elk at the Sinks of 
Gandy, and Captain J. H. Lambert, who now lives on Dry Pork, and is 71 
years old, remembers the occurrence, and also remembers that he ate a 
piece of the elk. He was then about eight years old. In 1840, or about 

* See Hales 's "Trans- Alleghany Pioneers." He says the last buffalo was killed on 
the Kenawha in 1820. Randolph claims a later one. 


that time, an elk was killed in Randolph, near the mouth of Red Creek; and 
about three years later three Elks were killed in Canaan Valley, near where 
the town of Davis in Tucker County, now stands, by the Flanagans and 
Joab Carr, who were in the habit of going there to hunt. Thus the last 
elk to fall before the hunter's rifle in Randolph was about 1843. During 
the war, three scouts on Cheat Mountain claimed they saw an elk, but they 
did not kill it, and they majy have been mistaken; however, there was 
nothing improbable in their claim. The last wolf killed in Randolph was 
in 1897; the last buffalo about 1825, although the date is uncertain. A 
buffalo cow and her calf were discovered at a lick in Webster County, and 
the people with dogs gave chase. They killed the calf on Valley Fork of 
Elk and the dogs run the cow to Valley Head, 25 miles south of Beverly, 
and there she was shot. It is believed that no buffalo was killed in the 
State after that. 


Only one time, after the close of the Indian troubles, from 1754 to 1764, 
did the Indians cross the Alleghanies on a raid. During the war which began 
in 1777 and closed in 1794, they crossed that mountain only once. That was 
in the summer of 1782, when 30 savages, led by an outlawed Englishman 
named Timothy Dorman, burnt the fort at Buckhannon, broke up the settle- 
ment there, killed Adam Stalnaker near Beverly, and then followed the 
old Shawnee trail across to Dry Fork, and reached the top of the Alleghany 
Mountains at the head of Horse Camp, and passed down the eastern side 
into what is now Pendelton County. A short distance from the top of the 
mountain, on the waters of Senaca Creek, lived the Gregg family, with 
whom Dorman had formerly made his iiome. The local tradition is that he 
wanted to marry one of Gregg's daughters, and that after he had taken her 
prisoner, he offered to spare her life if she would consent to marry him. 
She refused and he killed her. The settlers pursued the Indians, and over- 
took them at the "Shrader Spring," on top of the Alleghany, where Jacob 
C. Harper now lives, but there were too many Indians, and no attack was 


The first steam saw-mill in the county, as is claimed by those who are 
posted, was brought to Dry Fork from Virginia in 1878. 


Isaac Vincent was a slave, bought in Richmond and raised near Hut- 
tonsville. He remained with his master during the Civil War, and died 
sometime after 1865. On one occasion he discovered a very large buck 
swimming in the river near his home, and he swam in and caught it by the 
horns. As long as he could touch bottom, and ,jt could not, he could man- 
age it, but when it came to the shore it caught him on its horns and ran 
with him. He was unable to extricate himself, and was dragged half a 
mile. All his clothing was torn off and he was covered with blood when 
rescued by Charles See. 


Below will be found copies of original subscription lists found among 
the papers of the late David Biackman: 

"We, the undersigned, agree and bind ourselves severally, each for 
himself alone, to pay to the Board of Public Works, or such person as said 



Board may designate, for the purpose of making that part of the Staunton 
and Parkersburg road that runs south of Beverly, provided Beverly be 
made a point and the money be laid out for making the road commencing 
at Beverly, the sums severally annexed to our names, when required by 
the said road for the purpose of paying for the construction of the said 
road. Witness our hands and seals October 5, 1840: 

W. C. Haymond $200 00 

J. Hart 125 00 

G. D. Camden 25 00 

Jacob Myers 200 00 

Squire Bosworth 50 00 

Lemuel Chenoweth 100 00 

B. W. Kittle 20 00 

Adam Crawford 35 00 

Franklin Leonard ... . 25 00 

Geore M. Hart 25 00 

Thomas O. Williams 25 00 

George H. Lee 25 00 

Hamen Scott 25 00 

Gabriel Cbenoweth 10 00 

Adam D. Caplinger ........ 10 00 

Ehjah Kittle 25 00 

Jebu Chenoweth 5 00 

William Wamsley 5 00 

W. Taylor 10 00 

B. W. Shurtliff 100 00 

D. Blackman 200 00 

Ely Butcher 100 00 

A. Hinkle 30 00 

John Stalnaker 50 00 

Wm. Rowan 50 00 

Isaac F. Hays 10 00 

Arnold Bonnifield 10 00 

Samuel Elliott 20 00 

Aug. J. Smith 25 00 

John B. Earle 25 00 

W. J. Long 100 00 

Gawin Hamilton 50 00 

Solomon C. Caplinger .... 5 00 

Washington Stalnaker .... 5 00 

John Ward 25 00 

Jesse H. Stalnaker 20 00 

Thomas J. Caplinger .. . . 20 00 

The following list, dated November 15, 1840, was signed on condition 

that the road pass through both Beverly and Buckhannon, and that the 
money subscribed be expended in making the road between those towns. 

George W. Caplinger $ 20 00 

J. W. Crawford 100 00 

Eli Kittle ... 100 00 

A Earle 150 00 

E. D. Collett 25 00 

Absalom Crawford 25 00 

David Goff 60 00 

B. L. Brown 25 00 

David Holder 10 00 

B. Kittle 15 00 

J. Arnold 50 00 

Martin Hayner 200 00 

A. B. Ward 25 00 

Joseph Schoonover 25 00 

John Taylor 10 00 

Job Wees 10 00 

George McLean 20 00 

Hoy McLean 20 00 

Wm. T. Chenoweth 25 00 

H. W. Campbell 10 00 

Philip Clemm 10 00 

Henry Harper 100 00 

John J. Chenoweth 25 00 

George Buckey . 50 00 

Wm. Foggy 1 00 

John Marstiller 20 00 

Moses Triplett 10 00 

George Caplinger 25 00 

John Hornbeck 40 00 

Thomas Collett 50 00 

Jacob Haigler 100 00 

Moses Harper 25 00 

George W. Chenoweth 10 00 

Peter Buckey 50 00 

Wm. McLean 5 00 

Wm. Daniels 50 00 

William Beverlin $ 20 00 

Western Mills 175 00 

Jacob Hevener 10 00 

Joseph Liggett 10 00 

George Olman 5 00 


George Post •. $ 5 00 

John Vanhorn 5 00 

Simon Rohrbaugh 5 00 

John I. Walden 5 00 

Edward I. Colerider 20 00 



Elias Heavener $ 15 00 

Moses Phillips 

3 00 

Enoch Gibson 

. . . 20 00 

Andrew Poundstoiie: . . . 

George Nicholas 

Zadock Lanhan 

30 00 

15 00 

. . .' 15 00 

Elmore Brake 

5 00 

William Baird 

. . . 10 00 

James Griffith 

5 00 

Marshall Lorentz 

5 00 

Win. McNulty 

Clark W. McNulty 

5 00 

5 00 

. .. 15 00 

Thomas B. Kelte $ 4 00 

D. S. Haselden 100 00 

Henry Simpson 25 00 

James J. Mooney 15 00 

Jacob Lorentz 25 00 

John B. Brake 10 00 

Abraham W. Brake 10 

John N. Rohrbaugh 8 

Alex. R. Ireland 5 

Levi Liggett 5 

William Greyson 15 

James Louden 2 

H. P. Kittle 5 



Stopping place of Lorenzo Dow 
In Beverly. 

An old log house in Beverly, near the eastern end of the bridge, has 
an historic interest from the fact that it sheltered Lorenzo Dow, the great 

Methodist missionary who in the early part of the 
present century traveled through the wilds of 
America as well as through Europe. At that time 
the house was occupied by Dr. Benjamin Dolbeare, 
who was long a resident of Randolph, represent- 
ing the county twenty years in the Legislature. 
Mrs. Dow was a sister of Dr. Dolbeare. The house 
is now used by Dr. A. S. Bosworth as a barn. 
Lorenzo Dow, when he first visited Beverly, 
preached on a log near town. He filled two or 
three appointments here, announcing them a year 
ahead, and when the time came, he was always on hand. His book, now 
very scarce, was printed in Wheeling, 1818. He published his early works 
in England and New York. ■ 

Salathiel Goff was president of the first court of Randolph County. He 
died of cancer in 1791, and at the time of his death the Indians were threat- 
ening the settlement at St. George. Goff 's request that he be buried under 
a hickory tree on his farm was complied with, but while the funeral was in 
progress there was constant and immediate danger of attack from Indians. 
The settlers hurried back to the fort as soon as the grave was filled. The 
grave and the rude stone slabs, with the square-cut letters, are still to be 
seen on the farm of W. E. Cupp, late Sheriff of Tucker County. 


Perhaps the largest patch of ginseng ever discovered in the world, at 
least in the wild state, was probably found in Randolph County about 1840. 
The discovery was made by W. H. Wilson, grandfather of the present clerk 
of the circuit court, while he was surveying the line between Randolph and 
Pocahontas Counties. The discovery was lost sight of till the war, when 
Thomas Wood, a scout, re-discovered it while ranging through the moun- 
tains in that uninhabited region. He told of it to acquaintances in Webster 
County, and they collected a company and dug the ginseng. At the low 
price then prevailing, not one-fourth of present prices for the root, they 
sold $600 worth from that patch. 



In different parts of Randolph County, but more abundantly along 
Tygart's Valley, are mounds built by human hands, but no man knows 
when. There are, probably, as many as forty in the valley, and upon the 
adjacent hills; seventeen of them being in the vicinity of Huttonsville. 
They are found on the Middle Pork, on Shaver's Fork, on Dry Fork, and 
on the very summit of the Alleghany Mountain, southeast of Dry Fork. 
One on the bottomland above the mouth of Red Creek, has been plowed down 
nearly to a level, and the plow has torn out skulls, stone hatches and 
chipped flint implements. Few of the mounds have been excavated; but 
those which have been opened contained no metal; only stone implements, 
and human bones. Eli H. Crouch plowed up on his farm at Elkwater, a 
a quartzite wheel, four inches in diameter, one inch thick at the r-im, with 
both sides concave. It resembled a double concave lens; or in shape it is 
like two shallow saucers placed bottom to bottom. Through the center is 
a hole one inch in diameter. Shallow scratches on the surface indicate that 
the implement was fashioned into its present shape by incessantly rubbing 
it on sandstone. The quartzite is very hard, and the labor was enormous. 
No use for it can be suggested, unless it was as an ornament. It was found 
within a mile of the large mound at Elkwater, and Mr. Crouch loaned 
it to the West Virginia University. In 1854, Dr. G. W. Yokum opened a 
mound on Big Island Creek near the Randolph and Barbour line. A large 
oak grew on the mound, showing great age. In the mound he found a 
man's thigh bone, and from its great length he concluded that it belonged 
to a man not less than seven feet tall. Being acquainted with bones and 
skeletons, Dr. Yokum would not be mistaken, and his testimony in this 
particular is valuable, because many people consider giants as myths. A 
thigh bone of equal or greater length was unearthed opposite Sycamore 
Island, in the Horse Shoe, Tucker County, about the beginning of the 
nineteeth century; but all who saw it are now dead. Alfred Hutton, who 
has two mounds on his farm, near Huttonsville, has a fragment of a thigh 
bone, and a stone hatchet taken from one of them. In a mound four miles 
above Beverly, fragments of bone and two stone pipes were taken. Few of 
the mounds have been opened and there is a field for research by antiquari- 
ans who are looking for relics of an extinct people. 

The largest mound is about 42 feet across the base and about six feet 
high. From that they vary, down to ten feet across and afoot or two high. 
On the hill above the town of Crickard is what the people call an "Indian 
Ring." It resembles the ring where they ride horses in a circus, and is 45 
feet in diameter. It was there when the country was first settled, and 
large trees were growing on it. The ground has since been cleared and 
cultivated, and the ring is nearly obliterated. The soil was piled about one 
foot high, forming the ring; and on the east and on the west side were 
openings — paths — leading into it. The use to which it was put is not known. 
It is likely that a very large Indian wigwam stood there, and that soil was 
thrown up all around the wall to keep out the wind, and that the two open- 
ings spoken of were the wigwam doors. Indians in the western country 
still build that way,, although their wigwams are seldom so large. After 
their wigwams are rotted down, or are burnt down, or are removed, the 
ring of earth remains, with usually one opening at the door, but sometimes 
two. Within a quarter of a mile of the ring at Crickard are three mounds. 


No man knows when the mounds in Tygart's Valley were built. They 
were all used as graves, so far as investigated. The most recent of them 
may be safely considered as 200 years old and some of them may be a 
thousand. Everything goes to show that Tygart's Valley was thickly set- 
tled. That is, it was well populated from an Indian standpoint, although it is 
likely that at its best it did not contain one Indian where there are twenty 
white people now. It was a famous hunting ground; and long after the 
Indians ceased to live here, they occasionally came back to hunt. 


General Rosser with a small force of cavalry made a night attack upon 
Beverly in January, 1865, and captured several hundred Union soldiers who 
had been under the command of Colonel Youart. The weather was cold 
and snowy, and after burning the bridge at Beverly, the Confederates fell 
back up the river, marching their barefoot prisoners through the snow, 
causing much suffering. They went into camp above Huttonsville, on the 
farm of Hamilton Stalnaker, an ardent sympathizer with the South. The 
soldiers were chilled, and there being plenty of rails at hand they soon had 
blazing fires, and Mr. Stalnaker's fence went up in smoke, serving as fuel. 
His brother, Warwick Stalnaker, lived on an adjoining farm, and was a sup- 
porter of the cause of the North. Rosser's troops did not happen to get 
across the line to Warwick's rails. Seeing this, Hamilton Stalnaker went 
to camp to make a complaint: "General Rosser," said he, "I am one of 
the strongest southern men in all this country and you have burnt all my 
rails; while brother Warwick is one of the strongest northern men in all 
this country, and you have not touched his rails." Rosser looked at him 
and answered: "Nevermind, Mr. Stalnaker; we will get to Warwick's rails 
after awhile." 


In 1861 General McClellan took possession of Beverly, the day after 
the battle of Rich Mountain. Two days later he wrote to his wife, describ- 
ing Tygart's Valley. His praise of the scenery is more remarkable because 
he had seen all the fairest parts of the world. In his letter he said: " The 
valley in which we are is one of the most beautiful I ever saw, and I am 
more inclined than ever to make my headquarters at Beverly. Beverly is 
a quiet, old-fashioned town, in a lovely valley, a beautiful -stream running 
by it, a perfect pastoral scene, such as old painters dreamed of but never 
realized * * * * * Our ride today was magnificent; some of the most 
splendid mountain views I ever beheld." * 


In October, 1862, a skirmish took place at Elkwater, in which one Fed- 
eral and one Confederate (Marion Harding) lost their lives. It is somewhat 
remarkable that both men died from a wound in the leg. The fight took 
place in and about the entrenchment on a knoll below the main fortifica- 
tions at Elkwater, near where Alexander Stalnaker then lived. Ten Fed- 
erals had accompanied J. F. Phares, who was then Sheriff, in a trip up the 
valley. They stopped at Alexander Stalnaker's to spend the night. Four 
Confederate soldiers, with three citizens, were scouting in that vicinity, 
under command of Major J. F. Harding. They discovered the Federals and 
the Federals discovered them just before daybreak, and in the skirmish 

*From " McClellan 's Own Story." 


which followed Marion Harding was shot in the leg above the knee and 
bled to death in a few minutes. A Federal, similarly wounded, was taken 
to Stalnaker's by his comrades, and was left there. Major Harding wrote 
a letter to the Federal commander at Beverly, informing him of the fight, 
and stating that a doctor and an ambulance might be sent for the wounded 
man, provided that no guard were sent along; anil provided that the corpse of 
his brother Marion be taken to Beverly also. But, if a guard were sent, it 
would be fought. The doctor went alone, and the wounded and dead were 
taken to Beverly. The Federal died of his wound. 


A Confederate battle flag, which was carried through more than fifty 
battles and unnumbered skirmishes, is in possession of S. N. Bosworth, of 
Beverly, who fought with the flag from tbe commencement to the close of 
the war, except _the time he was in a Federal prison. The flag shows the 
scars of battle. It was carried with the Thirty-first Virginia Infantry, 
which was largely made up of Randolph County men. The regiment saw its 
first service at Philippi, June 3, 1861, when Porterfield was defeated by 
Kelley. It was at Laurel Hill with Garnett, and retreated with him, and 
was at the battle of Corrick's Ford. It took part in the following battles, 
in ail of which, after May 5, 1862, the flag was borne: Greenbrier River, 
Elk Mountain, Alleghany Mountain, Jack Mountain, McDowell, Front 
Royal, Winchester (against Banks), Strasburg (against Fremont), Cross 
Keys, Port Republic (where half its men were killed or wounded), the Seven 
Days Battles below Richmond, Slaughter Mountain, Warrenton Springs, 
Bristow Station (where Pope's headquarters were captured), Second Battle 
of Bull Run, Fairfax Court-House, Harper's Ferry (Antietam campaign), 
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Beverly (Imboden's Raid), Winchester (against 
Milroy), Gettysburg, Bristow Station, Raccoon Ford, Mourton's Ford, The 
Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court-House, and the fighting from there around 
to Richmond and Petersburg, Early's Maryland Campaign, Kernstown, The 
Opequon Campaign (against Sheridan), Fisher's Hill, Waynesboro', Cedar 
Creek, Fort Steadman, This regiment captured Fort Steadman, with 400 
prisoners, but subsequently lost nearly all of its own men. Eighteen men 
surrendered. The flag was presented to the regiment by Stonewall Jack- 
son, May 5, 1862. A ragged hole was torn in one side of the flag by a shell. 
It is said that the report caused by the impact of the shell against the flag, 
as heard by those a few feet away, was little less than the sharp crack of 
a rifle. The stars and cross in the flag were stitched by hand. They seem 
to have been white originally, on a red field. The white is soiled and the 
red faded. 


On October 1, 1863, a skirmish took place at Mill Creek Church, ten 
miles south of Beverly, between 48 Confederates, commanded by Captain 
Hill, and 63 Federals of the Eighth Ohio Regiment, under Captain Beckell. 
The Confederates had come on a scout from the Greenbrier River, and took 
the Federals by surprise. The old church at Mill Creek shows the marks 
of bullets. Captain Beckell surrendered and his men were paroled, but 
their horses and equipments were taken. On their return across Cheat 
Mountain the Confederates met a squad of twelve Federals under Lieuten- 
ant Wilnion W. Swain, and took all of them prisoner, except the lieuten- 


ant, who escaped. In all, the Confederates captured 95 horses on the ex- 


So far as known, the only man on earth who ever saw the moon change 
lived in Randolph County. While Peter Conrad was testifying in court 
early in the nineteenth century, he stated that he had seen that phenom- 
enon, adding that " the moon just flopped over like a pancake." His home 
was in the upper end of the valley. It is related that a peddler once 
stopped with him over night and when he asked for his bill in the morning 
Mr. Conrad replied: "I have been keeping tavern here nigh on to forty 
years, and I never charged a man yet, and I guess I will not begin with you, 


The ancient Roman story of how Horatius held the bridge against an 
army, had a counterpart in Randolph during the" Civil War, although the 
bridge had been burnt and only the ford was held. But ours did not ap- 
proach the sublimity of the Roman exploit because there was not so much 
at stake, but the result, although on a small scale, was not dissimilar. At 
any rate the story is worth preserving. In February or March, 1865, thir- 
teen Confederates, under command of Major P. J. Harding, were sent from 
Hightown, Virginia, into Randolph to recruit horses. They went as far 
down as Leading Creek, and having obtained a number of horses, returned 
up the valley to Huttonsville and above, where they visited their old ac- 
quaintances, and thus scattered themselves about the neighborhood. Among 
the men were Eugene Isner, Squire B. Kittle, Jacob G. Ward, John Kil- 
lingsworth, Samuel B. Wamsley, Claiborne Ashford, James Shannon, Lee 
M. Ward and A. B. Crouch. 

While visiting old neighbors, and scattered up and down the country, 
24 Federals (3 of the them citizens) under Lieutenant Wilmon W. Swain, 
put in an appearance, and searched houses and rode here and there hunt- 
ing for them, and succeeded in capturing D. D. Dix, nephew of Stonewall 
Jackson, at Washington Ward's. Major Harding, who was at Mi*s. Kitty 
Crouch's, had a narrow escape, he being up stairs while the Federals stopped 
in the yard, fed their horses, and some of them went in the house and asked 
for him. But they did not search the house, nor did they find Major Hard- 
ing's horse, which was in the barn. When they took their departure, he 
mounted his horse and followed them, frequently in sight. Meeting Eugene 
Isner, he dispatched him through the neighborhood to gather up the Con- 

Just after the Federals had crossed the ford where the Huttonsville 
bridge had been burnt, Major Harding reached the bank and shot at them. 
They came back, shooting; and Major Harding, sheltered himself in a low 
place beyond the south bank where the bullets could not reach him. He 
had only three loads for his gun; but the Federals were shy about charg- 
ing across the river, although they threatened several times to do so. But 
when they advanced, he would show himself and they would fall back and 
begin shooting. He would immediately get out' of range. They talked 
with him, called on him to surrender, swore at him, quarreled with him, 
wasted hundreds of rounds of ammunition, all to no purpose. Finally 
Lieutenant Swain accused him of fooling with them and trying to hold 
them there until Confederates could come down the north side of the river 


and cut them off. The lieutenant's surmise was not far wrong, and calling 
off his men he moved down the road to John Shreve's. In the meantime 
Confederates had come up until their squad numbered thirteen; and when 
they overtook the Federals there was a fight. While the Confederates 
were scattered, the Federals charged them in solid column. They were 
met by a charge from a portion of the Confederates, and gave ground be- 
fore they met. Major Harding fired his last load and wounded a soldier 
(whose wound was dressed by Dr. Yokum); and grasping his gun by the 
muzzle prepared to club it; but the Federals got out of the way, crossed 
the mountain to Middle Fork and escaped. Lieutenant Swain in speaking 
of the affair afterwards said, half in jest: "They were pretty good fellows, 
and will fight all right, and when I saw one of them grab his gun by the 
muzzle and start at me, I knew I would have to get out of his way or kill 
him, and I did not want to kill him." 


There is in the town of Beverly a spot of more than local interest. It 
is the site of the Files cabin, where occurred the first Indian massacre on 

the soil of West Virginia. Before Killbuck and 
Crane tomahawked the settlers on South Branch; 
before the peaceable Decker brothers fell victims 
to savage ferocity in Monongalia County; before 
the settlements on Patterson Creek were broken 
up by Shawnees and Mingoes; before the frontiers- 
men of Greenbrier had given their lives for the 
cause of civilization, the yell of the Indian had 
sounded through the forest of elms, oaks and syca- 
mores where Beverly now stands, and seven per- 
site of Files' cabin. sons fell before the rifle and tomahawk. There is 

no history and no tradition of the time when Files and his family came, nor 
whence they came. The supposition is that they emigrated from the South 
Branch to Tygart's Valley in the spring of 1753. Tygart's family, which 
settled on the river two miles above, probably came at the same time. Tra- 
dition says that the Files cabin stood about fifty yards, a little 
north of west, from Stark L. Baker's mill, on a high point of land which 
at that time was washed on one side by Files Creek, but the course of the 
stream has since changed, and the old channel is filled with soil and is used 
for pasture. Its ancient course can be plainly seen. Men are yet living who, 
as boys, snared trout where cattle now graze. It is believed that the bodies 
of Files and his family were buried beneath the present railroad, a few 
steps west of where the cabin stood. Files had cleared some ground, no 
doubt immediately round his house. When the valley was again settled, 
about twenty years after the massacre, an orchard was planted where the 
Files cabin had stood. One of those appletrees was cut down when the 
railroad was built. The log lies there yet. The number of rings of annual 
growth counted on the log, added to the number of years since the tree was 
cut, indicates that the tree was planted about 1775. The statement was 
long accepted as history that the bones of the Files family were buried in 
1772, but the discovery of documents at Richmond within the past few years, 
. seems to throw doubt on the correctness of the statement, although the 
more lately discovered documents are not positive and conclusive, and 
should not be given too much weight as against the statement of Withers, 



who visited the scene and talked with the old settlers nearly three-quarters 
of a century ago. Withers was told that the Westfalls discovered the bones 
and buried them in 1772. The Eichmond documents indicate that the bodies 
were discovered February 4, 1754, a few months after the massacre, and 
the presumption is that those who discovered the bodies buried them. Such 
may not have been the case, however, and it is possible that both Withers 
and the Richmond authority are correct. There is not necessarily a con- 
flict between them. 

The tradition is that when the Indians attacked the family one of the 
sons was on the opposite side of the creek. Hearing the shrieks at the 
house, he approached near enough to see that Indians were murdering the 
inmates, and being unable to render any assistance, he fled to Tygart's, and 
that family immediately set out for the South Branch, following an Indian 
trail which led from Valley Bend across the mountain by the way of Pish- 
ing Hawk. It is not known whether the Indians proceeded up the valley to 
Tygart's cabin. That massacre occurred in a time of peace, when the In- 
dians were supposed to be friendly. They were in the habit of visiting the 
settlements along the South Branch and in the Valley of Virginia, from 
Winchester to Staunton, and stopping at houses to procure food, but harm- 
ing no one. For this reason the people were not afraid of them, and no 
doubt Files and Tygart felt no more danger west of the mountains than was, 
felt by settlers east of the range. That accounts for these families ventur- 
ing so far from settlements to make their home. No war existed; and hav- 
ing been accustomed to seeing Indians in the older neighborhoods, they had 
no reason to look for any different state of affairs in their new abode. But 
the Indians were treacherous, and occasionally committed outrages while 
professing friendship. The party that murdered the Files family had car- 
ried away a boy from the South Branch, and the boy was probably a wit- 
ness to the massacre. There is evidence that Tygart's Valley was a favor- 
ite hunting ground for Indians from both Pennsylvania and Ohio. The 
numerous paths made by 
them, not only across the 
mountains, both east and 
west from the valley, but 
also up and down, is proof 
that they were frequent 
visitors. There were sev- 
eral licks in the valley 
frequented by deer. Jacob 
Wees, a very old and 
highly respected gentle- 
man still residing in Bev- 

erly, says that Indian 
trails led by all the licks, 
showing that the savages 
hunted frequently in the 
valley. This probably gives a hint of why they murdered the Files family. 
It was because they had dared to settle on the Indian hunting grounds. The 
natives had acquiesced in the occupation of the country east of the moun- 
tains by the white men, and had ceased to hunt there. This at least was 
partly true. But they were not willing to give up the country west of the 
range, and when they found a family occupying the beautiful Tygart's Val- 

lodian trails in Tygart's Valley. See also page 177. 


ley, one of their best hunting grounds, they fell on them and murdered 
them, although in time of peace. This probably is the correct explanation. 
It is believed that the deed was committed by Indians who lived on Alle- 
gheny River, in Pennsylvania. 

Within a quarter of a mile of Beverly stood the 
r -SSs^===_ _ -s $&« old Westfall fort, built in 1774. Its site may still 
j ^Js^^l^^vd^^ be seen in Daniel R. Baker's meadow, south of 
I ~~- v" V J ' | ^^Jl§! Piles' Creek and west of the railroad. The building 
^^~ :i J&^~'^%J£^iM was torn down and rebuilt on the bluff about a 
issi©i M century ago, and it still stands. The foundation of 

"" ^«- V' %:4i' 'slfelti the old chimney in the meadow, near an apple tree, 
. i: ^,__.ll^.,i .JS&m forming a mound, still marks the original spot 
site of westfaii's Fort. where the fort stood. A spring about seventy-five 
yards distant, furnished water for the inmates. 


The case of Lorenzo Adams, a Confederate soldier belonging to Im- 
boden's command, is remarkable for the fact that after receiving eighteen 
gunshot wounds in the head he recovered. Nine of Imboden's men who 
had been scouting in Barbour County, crossed into Tucker, and three miles 
above St. George, robbed David Wheeler's store. They were pursued by 
troops from St. George, under Lieutenant Gallion, up Dry Pork. Gallion 
turned the pursuit over to Captain Nathaniel J. Lambert with the Home 
Guards, known as "Swamps." They followed the Confederates and came 
upon them when asleep and fired upon them at a distance of a few yards. 
Two Confederates were killed and Adams was wounded. He was supposed 
to be dead, but when the Federals pulled his boots off he showed signs of 
life. They beat him on the head with a gun, and supposed they had finished 
him. But after they had gone, he recovered consciousness, and in trying 
to gain his feet, he fell into the fire and burned his hands almost off. The 
next day Archibald Earle went to the camp to bury the dead, and finding 
Adams alive, took him to Hightown, where he recovered. An ounce ball 
was taken from under his skull. 


Among souvenirs of the war, in possession of S. N. Bosworth of 
Beverly, is the original muster-roll of company H, Thirty-first Virginia 
Infantry, which was from Barbour County, Thomas A. Bradford, Captain, / 
as shown by the roll. Mr. Bosworth has his furlough, which contains a 
number of signatures of noted men, among them being General Pegram, 
General R. L. Ewell, Adjutant General W. N. Taylor. He has also a 
musket barrel and bayonet picked up a few years ago in the woods about a 
mile from the battlefield of Rich Mountain, and nearby was found the skele- j 
ton of a man, supposed to have been a Confederate who was wounded in 
the battle and died in the woods . The stock of the gun was apparently 
burned off in a woods fire. The barrel had burst, caused, as is presumed, 
by rainwater collecting in it, and freezing. 


At the battle of Malvern Hill the Confederates were driven back in 
their efforts to storm the Federal position. General Lee prepared for 
another charge the next morning. He picked his troops for the charge. 





Different regiments sent soldiers who were willing to undertake the desper- 
ate work. The Thirty-first Virginia Regiment sent thirty-two men, and of 
that number sixteen were from Randolph County. The troops massed for 
the charge and lay on the ground all night within less than half a mile of 
the Federal artillery, waiting for morning. Before morning the Federals 
withdrew and the charge was not necessary. Randolph County furnished 
about 250 soldiers for the Confederate army. The first company to go was 
Company F, which was mustered in at Huttonsville, May 24, 1861. 


Randolph County, covering a wide and diversified region of valley and 
mountains, holds within its borders a peculiar blending of the past and 
present. Relics of the " good old times" are to be found in nooks and cor- 
ners, side by side with the development of newer things; the modern paint- 
ed house, and the log cabin in the yard; the steel bridge, and the out-of- 
date wooden arch-structure; the mowing machine 
and the reaper, and the scythe and the cradle; the 
repeating rifle and the muzzle loader of a century 
ago; the railroad and the bridle-path; the log 
school-house like that in which Ichabod Crane 
lifted the urchins over the tall words with a hick- 
ory, and the neat, scientific frame or brick struc- 
tures. The old times were good, but no better than 
the present. In most things they were not so good. 
The painted and ventilated house is better than the cabins of the grand- 
fathers, because more comfortable; the 
iron bridge is better than the wooden, 
because stronger; the mowing machine 
and the reaper require less labor than 
the scythe and the cradle, and are there- 
fore to be preferred. It is no dispar- 
agement of the log-cabin schools and 
the Ichabod Cranes of former days to 
say that education in all its depart- 
ments and appliances has made won- 
derful advances since then. To appre- 
ciate modern things, we should cultivate 
our acquaintance with and keep warm 
our veneration for what is past. The 
better the historian, the better the pa- 
triot. From a thousand channels the 
past enriches the present; and to ap- 
preciate the present and prepare for 
the future, we must trace back to their sources the streams which come to 
us from the years gone by. 


While Judge Camden was on the bench the weather was very warm 
during a session of the Randolph court, and he ordered court next day to 
convene "at the falls of Cheat River. " Accordingly the judge, the clerk 
and the lawyers went up Files Creek, crossed Cheat Mountain and held 
court on Shaver's Fork. Noah Corley was chief cook, teamster and assist- 

miscellaneous history. sii 

ant fisherman. The minutes of the court show that the casses "were argued 
in chambers." 


Randolph County has sent out many orators but few poets. About 
the only effort at "pure literature," at least in early times, was made by a 
Methodist preacher, near the beginning of the present century. His name 
is now forgotten, but traditions concerning bim are yet current. Some 
suppose it was Lorenzo Dow. The poem in meter and style, resembles 
Dow's "Morning Vision." The poet was probably not Dow. It is not 
known how much poetry he wrote, but one poem of some length, called 
"Randolph County" exists in manuscript. The poetry is not of the highest 
order, but it is doubtful if Homer painted truer to nature, as nature ex- 
isted in Randolph a century ago. Witness these lines, alive, no doubt, with 
personal experience: 

"The hungry bear's portentous growl; 
The famished wolf's unearthly howl; 
The prowling panther's keenest yell — 
These echo from the gloomy dell." 

After speaking more fully of the almost undisputed reign of the forest 
brutes, and the dangers to the settlers, he sums his conclusion thus: 

"But still man holds his dwelling there, 
Defying panther, wolf and bear; 
But prowling 'varmints' plainly tell 
This is no place for man to dwell." 

The poetic parson was fond of wreathing garlands of poetry around 
the mountain jpeaks of Randolph, and glancing into the ravines to see what 
was there. One verse will suffice as an example: 

"The mountains high with grandeur rise 
And reach the everlasting skies; 
The vales between are dark and wild, 
And streamlets dash or murmer mild." 

The rivers are antitheses of the mountains, and the preacher never 
spoke of the one but that the next stanza took up the other. There is prob- 
ably some history in the last two lines: 

"The roaring rivers, rough and wide. 
Dash down, or pause and softly glide; 
And oftentimes their rushing waves 
Bear dwellers down to watery graves." 

The itinerant evangelist saw other things than mountains and wolves. 
He saw the moral and religious side of the people. The picture which he 
painted was probably not a fanciful one, since the early court records of 
Randolph often show a dozen or more indictments in one day for "provanely 
swearing" Here is the preacher's version of it: 

"Too many souls these valleys in 
Are lost in doubt and dead in sin; 
Too few the knees that bend in prayer: 
Too many tongues that curse and swear. 

"Too few that tread the Narrow Path; 
Too many on the road to wrath; 
Too many hearts as hard as stone; 
Too few the pilgrims to the Throne." 

However discouraging this picture may be, the poet softened its shades 


and threw in some refulgent beams from a solemn sunset, before be con- 
cluded it. The following verse is a summing up of the arguement: 

"But in that clay of wrath and doom, 
When Gabriel's trump shall burst tbe tomb, 
Above these mountains shall arise 
Ten thousand souls to fill the skies." 


So far as records show, the first religious service held within Randolph 
County was by the Presbyterians. In 1786 Rev. Edward Crawford, from 
the Valley of Virginia, preached two sermons in Tygart's Valley. In 1787 
Rev. William Wilson, of the " Old Stone Church of Augusta," preached two 
sermons. The next year Rev. Moses Hogue preached twice; and in 1789 
Rev. Wilson came again and preached two sermons. For many years after 
that there is no record of any preaching in the Valley. Some time prior to 
1820 Rev. Asa Brooks, of New England, visited the Valley as a missionary. 
He subsequently settled in Clarksburg, where he died in 1836. The first 
minister who made Tygart's Valley his home was Rev. Aretas Looinis, 1820. 
About that time Daniel McLean, Jonathan Hutton and Andrew Crawford 
met at Crawford's house and organized a church. Prior to that time there 
was no organized congregation in Randolph. Matthew Whitman was elected 
I a ruling elder. J c iil823. Adam See deeded three acres near_Hut.tonsvilla on 
which to build a church. Rev. Loomis preached in the court house and in 
private houses. Iri_1826 the_Qhurch_near Hjxttpnsville was commenced. It 
cost $1500, and was destroyed by Federal soldiers. In 1826 Rev. George 
A. Baxter, of Lexington, preached in the county; and in 1831 Rev. Henry 
Brown. At this time the church had 60 members and five elders, Mathew 
Whitman, Daniel McLean, Andrew Crawford, Squire Bosworth and Jona- 
than Hutton. In 1832 Rev. John S. Blaine and Rev. James Baber both 
preached in the county; and in 1835 Rev. Blaine came again and remained 
three years. Rev. Joseph Brown was here in 1840, and Rev. Theodore 
Gallandet in 1841. In that year the Mingo Church was organized with Wm. 
H. Wilson and Wm. Logan as elders, and Rev. E. Churchill preached there, 
and a house of worship was built by A. C. Logan for $419, on a lot deeded 
by Edward Wood. It stands today. Rev. Enoch Thomas preached the 
first sermon in it, and Rev. Henry Brown dedicated it. In 1841 there were 
80 Presbyterians in the Valley between the mouth of Elkwater and the 
head of Leading Creek, Rev. Enoch Thomas was in charge from 1844 to 
1860; Rev.Robert Scott from 1867 to 1875; Rev.Patterson Fletcher from 1875 
to 1878; Rev. Plummer Bryan, 1881; Rev. Samuel J. Baird, 1884; Rev. J. N. 
Van Devanter, 1887; Rev. Charles D. Giikeson, 1891. 


The Methodists were regarded as the pioneers in religion on the fron- 
tiers. It is not known how early they came to Randolph, for they kept 
poor records in early times. The court records speak of Adam Burge in 
1807, and mention of no earlier Methodist is found, although it is probable 
that Burge was not the first. Among others, some named in the court 
records, and others obtained from other sources, were: John B. West, 
1826; Walter Athey, 1828; John McCaskey, 1830; James L. Turner, 1833; 

*The facts herein stated were mostly obtained from Rev. Charles D. Giikeson of 
Beverly, A. C. Logan of Mingo, and from a pamphlet (" Report of the Presbytery ") pub- 
lished half a century ago, and now very rare. 




Daniel M. Sturm, 1834; W. M. Leeper, 1835; George Monroe, 1835; Chester 
Morrison, 1836; John Reger, 1840; David Gordon, 1840; David Hess, 1841; 
Joel Pittman, 1841; Gideon Martin, 1842; Henry Clay Dean, 1846: Benjamin 
Isner, 1847; Parnnel Steel, 1847; Henry Steven, 1850; Cornelius Whitecotton, 
1850; Samuel D. Jones, 1851; Richard M. Wallace, 1853; Aaron Bowers, 1856; 
Daniel O. Stewart, 1858; Wilson L. Hangman, 1860; Gilbert Rogers, 1864; 
John Birkett, 1866; S. B. D. Prickett, 1867; Thomas M. Hartley, 1868; John 
L. Eckess, 1871; Henning Foggy, .1873; John Wilmoth, 1874; Asbury Mick, 
1876; C. W. Upton, 1879; Anthony Mustoe, 1881; John Adamson, 1881; E. C. 
Woodruff, 1882; Fred Cottrell, 1884; J. N. Sharp, 1887; Cyrus Poling, 1889; 
J. S. Robinson, 1891; P. A. Fling, 1893; Luther C. Scott, 1894; James W. 


This church had a very early organization in Randolph County. One 
of the earliest as well as the most eloquent of its preachers was Elder 
Thomas Collett, born 1788, died 1870. Under his management the old 
church — the oldest now standing in Randolph — was built four miles below 

Beverly. The edifice was a 

line one in its day; it had a 
gallery and a high pulpit. The 
house was of logs, but several 
years before the Civil War it 
was weather-boarded. During 
the war soldiers tore off nearly 
all the weather-boai'ding and 
the roof. It was never thor- 
o u gh 1 y repaired afterwards, 
and was abandoned many years 
ago, the denomination building 
a new house of worship near 
Lick, where 23 members now 
worship. The old church is still 
an object of venei'ation in the 
neighborhood. The first 
preacher there was Thomas 
Collett. He preached long af- 
ter he became blind. He was succeeded by Elder Nathan Everett from 
Pennsylvania; and following came Elder Joseph Poe, of Barbour County. 
Next was Elder Ezra P. Hart; then Elder Elam Murphy, followed by Elder 
Hart again; and Elder Stephen D. Lewis is the present pastor. There is 
another congregation of this church on Leading Creek, with a house of 
worship and 45 members. The first preacher there was Elder David Mur- 
phy; next, Elder James Murphy, the present incumbent, who, although 
unable to walk, still expounds the Scripture to his people. 


The first in Randolph County was organized at Beverly, 1894; by Rev. 
E. R. Bazier, sent by the Pittsburg Conference, all of West Virginia being 
in the Wheeling District of the Pittsburg Conference. The second A. M. 
E. Church in Randolph was organized by Rev. Bazier at Cassity Fork, 1895. 
The Beverly Church has thirty members, that at Cassity Fork has twelve. 

Elder Thomas Collett's Church. 


Mr. Bazier has been the only worker among the colored people of the 
county, both in religious and educational matters, except the presiding 
elder, Rev. J. W. Riley, and Rev. T. A. Green, who conducted the quar- 
terly meetings and Rev. Garnett of Elkins. 

Mr. Bazier is a native of Pennsylvania, born at Pittsburg 1865, and be- 
ginning his education under many discouragements, in the country schools, 
but subsequently attending college both at Wooster and Wilberforce, Ohio. 
When thirteen he clerked at a store at McKeesport, and subsequently with 
wholesale merchants at Pittsburg. He saved money with which to educate 
himself. In 1886 he entered the ministry and was apjaointed to the Boone 
County mission, in West Virginia, where he organized schools and churches, 
and was the first teacher of colored children in that county. He labored 
also in Raleigh, Logan and Wyoming Counties. In 1894 he was appointed 
by Bishop Arnett to the Beverly mission. His field here was hard, the 
colored people being mostly poor and uneducated; but by perseverance he 
performed a permanent work, and built two houses of worship. He was 
also the first to teach the colored people of Randolph County. In 1894 he 
opened a school at Beverly, after securing a teacher's certificate, and has 
taught the school five months each year. In the winter, after closing the 
Beverly term, he opens a school at Cassity Pork. Under his excellent 
methods of teaching, his pupils make remarkable progress, and in educa- 
tional and moral advancement they compare favorably with any colored 
people in the country. 


The first organized Baptist Church of that denomination in the county 
appears to have been founded in December, 1890, in Elkins, by Rev. W. E. 
Powell, of Parkersburg, general missionary of the Baptists of West Vir- 
ginia. The church contained 17 members, and a Sunday School was organ- 
ized. Rev. Amos Robinson, of the First Baptist Church of Bristol, R. I., 
was called to become pastor. The building, with the lote cost $3,500, and 
was dedicated November 22, 1891. It has now 58 members, although several 
have moved away. In March, 1895, Rev. Robinson organized a church of 
twelve members in Harding, and Rev. M. P. H. Potts was chosen pastor. 
In September of the same year a church was organized at Faulkner, with 
twelve members. From 1880 to 1890 Rev. Potts preached to a small con- 
gregation near Valley Bend, but no church was built. 


The first Minister of the M. P. Church in Randolph, as far as known, 
was James Chambers, who is shown by the court records to have been 
authorized in 1848 to solemnize marriages. The records kept by the church 
are the merest fragments. From that source it is learned that the follow- 
ing preachers have labored in the county: S. T. Davis, 1875; A. S. Haney, 
1877; Rev. Chips, 1879; D. M. Simonton, 1880. Isaac Ocheltree, 1884, E. J. 
Harris, 1885; Oliver Westfall, 1886; W. E. Fletcher, 1888; Oliver Westfall, 
1HK9; J. C. Reese, 1890. A house of worship was built on Roaring Creek 
many years ago. In 1898 one was built in Beverly through the exertion of 
E. J. Kildow, assisted by George M. Wees and George W. Printz, as a 
building committee. The lot was donated by Mr. and Mrs. H. J. William- 
son; G. W. Printz was the architect, and A. H. Houdyschell the builder. 
Arthur Isner was the first licensed preacher. The famous preacher, Rev.